Archive | August, 2010

Where Does the Real Estate Market Stand?

31 Aug

It is always about supply and demand.

In May I wrote about the factors that most affect supply and demand: the availability of jobs in the market, consumer confidence, and the affordability of housing (the cost of homeownership).

Last week, The National Association of REALTORS released the July housing report showing that existing home sales were sharply lower, but median home prices continue to rise.

Why? First demand.  First time homebuyers left the market in July with the end of the tax credit.  The market took buyers from the summer and early fall months and moved them into May and June. And other buyers continue to be waiting for a bottom.  But that could be a risky play with median home prices rising. Continue reading

Center City Charlotte . . . The Story Continues To Unfold

30 Aug

Charlotte, NC, the economic engine for the region, has seen steady employment growth over the years (55,000 to 70,000 jobs). Headquarters to many national firms, we are also becoming a nationally-recognized destination supported by a thriving convention and hospitality business with numerous restaurants and nightlife locations to chose from.  More than one billion with a “B” has been interested in the arts, cultural and entertainment venues.  Uptown and the Southend area have become vibrant with residential growth; with over 15,000 residents combined.

In Charlotte, we are always looking to the future. What can we do next? How can we continue to grow? This mentality has allowed us to push forward and brought us to a point where we will be able to roll out the 2020 Vision Plan in the fourth quarter of this year.  The 2020 Vision Plan, which has had input from countless citizens and organizations, is an innovative ten-year growth, development, and urban design plan for Charlotte’s Center City.  It is a blueprint for not only development growth but also economic, public and investor growth. Continue reading

Where Are the Jobs in the Triad Region?

27 Aug

The news is pretty bad this week.  A lot of doom and gloom in the national headlines, especially with unemployment rates still in double-digits, and with employers sitting tight with no new hires.  There is however, some great news coming out of the Triad Region this week and we can only get excited about where we are headed in the short-term.

The first announcement was a big one – Caterpillar, Inc announced they would bring a significant manufacturing operation to Winston Salem. This represents 392 full-time jobs with an average salary of $36,000 per year plus benefits.  This is a $426 million dollar investment that will also create some good construction jobs to build their facility – a 850,000 square foot facility that will be used to build parts for their large mining trucks. Continue reading

Move Up Buyers and the Mortgage Process

26 Aug

If you ask many loan officers, although dealing with first time homebuyers is challenging, it is easier to set the right expectations on the mortgage process as they have not been through it before. Today’s first-time homebuyer never experienced the easy mortgage process prevalent in the late 1990’s to 2007.

The most difficult group to set expectations with are move up buyers or refinance customers.  Most of them bought homes during the 1990’s to 2007 and in many cases did not have to provide anything in terms of documentation.  At the most they provided paystubs and bank statements and usually just the first page of their bank statement.   They did not have to write explanations for recent inquiries or address old credit issues.   As for the requirement for all loans to have tax transcripts pulled( what is called a form 4506), this entails the lender getting confirmation back from the IRS that the tax returns given were indeed filed and are accurate. Continue reading

Insider Secrets: Main Street, Greenville SC

25 Aug

I moved to Greenville in 1998. What drew me to this great place was the quaint and charming Main Street, lined with cafes, shops and delightful restaurants.

My first job when I moved here was located in a historic building right on Main Street.  I was somehow lucky enough to have an office with a window that overlooked it. On Friday evenings I would open the windows and listen as the Jazz music started playing in the street.

I remember when I first moved here, people told me that just three years before you did not venture out onto Main St. The shops were few and far between, but the same thing could not be said for the crime.  As a witness to a lot of this change, I am in awe of it. Continue reading

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