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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Brightwater Living is an independent senior living retirement community in the heart of Myrtle Beach. I met with Barbara Gans from Brightwater because there are so many questions on how the transition of moving from a home to a facility like Brightwater transpires.
According to Barbara, interested parties should look at as many independent living communities as possible. When you visit, there are many questions you should ask. We’ll look at three key ones. How do you like the community? Can you afford it and can you afford not to move to in? What about the “what ifs?”; what’s available if you need specialized care? Here’s a summary of the advice Barbara shared.
Question 1: How does the community make you feel?
The best way you can figure this out is by experiencing the environment. You can do a tour, stay in a guest suite, participate in activities and enjoy meals there to see if you want to truly explore it. The best things you should look for you can’t taste and see. It all comes down to how the environment makes you feel.
Question 2: How much does it cost and can you afford it?
Get all the facts and figures. To do so, ask lots of questions. Who owns the property? How long have they been in business? How are they licensed by the state? Ask for occupancy agreement templates to share with financial advisors, attorneys and family members. What are the home prices? What is the financial model? For example, there are many, such as life care, equity, and deed-based models so it’s very important to get all that clarified. Does the family have any liability when you leave the community? Make sure your salesperson is transparent. And, finally, ask for the complete cost analysis upfront. When you take into account all the services, you may be pleasantly surprised because it may be less than it is to maintain your own home.
Question 3: What about the what-ifs?
What if you need a higher level of care? Be sure to ask about assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, long-term care and physical therapy. What do these areas cost? Can you use long-term care insurance and how does Medicare factor in? Tour these areas, even if you don’t need those areas now. At Brightwater we offer a full continuum of care.
To reach Barbara at Brightwater, please call (843) 903-8300.
Give me a call so I can tell you where to be positioned and how to be successful in this market. Please contact me at (843) 251-2693 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to assist you.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
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If you're a real estate investor or thinking of becoming one, then you can definitely take advantage of this law, and I recommend you do so.
Basically, the "1031" allows you to sell one property and buy another without incurring capital gains taxes.
You simply have to re-invest all your profits into the next property (or properties) within a specific timeline (described later).
However, the property must be “qualifying property.” This is property held for investment purposes or used in a taxpayer's trade or business.
Investment property includes real estate, improved or unimproved, held for investment or income producing purposes.
Be aware that real estate must be replaced with like-kind real estate. This means that “like-kind replacement property” can be any improved or unimproved real estate held for income, investment or business use.
Here are some examples:
· Improved real estate can be replaced with unimproved real estate and vice versa.
· A 100% interest can be exchanged for an undivided percentage interest with multiple owners and vice-versa.
· One property can be exchanged for two or more properties.
· Two or more properties can be exchanged for one replacement property.
· A duplex can be exchanged for a fourplex.
· Investment property can be exchanged for business property and vice versa.
Be Aware: Your personal residence can't be exchanged for income property, and income or investment property cannot be exchanged for a personal residence in you'll reside!
What Are the Types of 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges?
There are three types of 1031 tax deferred exchanges that can take place:
- Straight exchanges—two parties trade properties of equal or approximate value. This is the simplest exchange.
- Multi-party exchanges—this involves three or more parties buying, selling, or exchanging properties. Don't attempt these exchanges without the aid of a tax professional; they tend to be very complex.
- Delayed exchanges—this exchange allows the sale of the relinquished property and the buying of the replacement property to occur at different times as long as stringent rules are followed. This is the exchange most often used.
What's the Advantage of the 1031 in Terms of Taxes?
As the law's title indicates, the capital gains tax is deferred, but not eliminated.
However deferral is a great way to leverage small real estate holdings into larger ones!
Since you can postpone gains, you're able to use a tax-deferred exchange strategy to transfer equity to a larger property, all without paying taxes!
Another advantage is that there’s no limit on exchanges. This means you can make as many exchanges as you want!
So, over the course of your lifetime, you can keep growing income and appreciation by adding new properties without having to pay the capital gains tax!
If you specialize in buying and renovating properties and want to keep reinvesting your profits into larger properties, then this strategy is especially attractive.
Note: If you don’t keep reinvesting, you risk being classified as a real estate dealer by the IRS and will not be able to participate in exchanges.
What Are the Basic 1031 Qualification Rules?
There are some basic rules that must be followed in order to qualify for a 1031 exchange. These include the following:
· The properties to be exchanged must be located in the United States. Note: You can exchange foreign property for foreign property and domestic for domestic. However, you can’t mix these exchanges together.
· You must trade only like-kind real estate.
· An exchange must be made that’s equal to or greater in both value and equity. Any cash or debt relief received above this amount is considered “boot” and is taxable.
· The like-kind property must be identified within 45 days of the closing on the initial property.
· All proceeds from the initial sale must be turned over to a "qualified intermediary" (also called a QI, facilitator, exchanger, etc.) who is the person or company playing the role of middleman.
· Any of the proceeds not under the control of the middleman are subject to taxation.
The middleman holds the funds from the initial property in escrow until such time as the closing on the second property occurs.
The middleman also assists the owner with the preparation of paperwork and other services to ensure the transaction progresses in a smooth manner.
The closing on the second property must take place within 180 days following the close on the first property.
Wow, as you can tell, this is pretty complex subject and can't completely covered here! But if you're an investor or plan to be one, I hope I whetted your appetite for this subject. To learn more, contact me at insert link.
Friday, April 26, 2013
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Interested in winning an iPad Mini? Sign up for our Market Snapshot to become eligible for a drawing on an iPad Mini on May 1st. Market Snapshot is an online tool that sends you monthly reports of properties sold and listed in your neighborhood. Just go to www.gregsisson.com/snapshot to enter.
If you have any real estate questions or needs, please feel free to call us at (843) 251-2693 or email us at Greg@GregSisson.com. Thanks!
at 1:55 PM
Monday, April 15, 2013
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We’re seeing a fairly steady yet slow increase in average sale price and sales while the number of days remains close year over year and inventory levels also only slightly declined. In terms of distressed sales, both in the single-family and condo categories, though we are seeing some improvement there is still a fair amount of inventory on hand that we need to clear through before we can see a strong comeback.
All in all, our numbers and outlook is improving though it may be taking longer than as reported in some other pockets of the nation during this very promising housing recovery period. Here’s a look at our numbers as they relate to the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
Single-Family Home Sales Up, Avg. Price Remains Fairly Flat, Homes Selling Slightly Faster
Right now, we are reporting a fairly significant increase year over year in the number of single-family homes sold through the end of first quarter. At 1,144 homes sold this year versus 1,007 sold in 2012 we saw a 12% jump in single-family home sales.
In terms of prices, there are two ways to examine price trends; first by looking at the average sales price and second, considering the median sales price. Looking at the latter gives us a better indicator of where the growth in our marketplace lies. As of April 1, 2013 our average sale price was $205,000 compared to $203,000 the previous year, marking a nearly flat 1% positive change. The median sales price is $160,000 for the first quarter of this year and last, meaning that half the homes were sold above that price and the other half sold fell below the $160,000 mark.
The number of days on market fell only slightly from 194 last year in the first quarter to 182 during the same time in 2013, pointing to a very slight positive change on market for single-family homes.
Fewer Homes On-Hand, Distressed Properties Still Dominate Nearly One Third of Inventory
Looking at inventory levels in the Grand Strand real estate market, we reported a slight decrease in the number of homes available from 4,288 as of the first of April in 2012 versus 4,034 homes on hand at the same time this year, indicating a 6% decline and a 10-month supply of inventory.
Distressed sales have slowly begun to clear away though there are a significant number of homes to be sold yet with 28% of our first quarter inventory this year being distressed properties. This compares very closely to last year’s 28% of closings in the distressed property category.
Condominium Sales On the Rise, Average Price Up Slightly, Condos Selling Faster
The number of condo units sold last year through the first quarter was 845 as compared to the 8.5% jump indicated by 924 units sold this year. Though not as much of an increase, we saw a positive change by 4.5% in the average sale price of condos with last year’s average at $126,700 to the first quarter of 2013 average sale price at $132,000. Median sales price also climbed a modest 5% year over year, going from $100,000 to $105,000 respectively.
The total days on market changed a fair amount this year going from 186 to 127 for the first three months of the year.
Inventory Steadily Clearing, Distressed Sales Continue to Dominate Condo Market
The number of available condos went from 3,963 in 2012 to 3,383 by the end of the first quarter this year, representing a 15% decline in condo inventory. The hardest hit segment in our marketplace during the market crash and throughout our recovery has been condos, highlighted in the percentage of distressed sale closings that represent our market. At 25% of closings in 2013 and 35% of closings the previous year, distressed sales still hold a significant impact on our market.
Land Sales Up a Small Amount, Prices and Days On Market Remain Fairly Flat
In terms of land sales, we have seen a huge surge in the number of building permits obtained during the past few years. Looking at the first quarter of 2013 for the number of lots sold, however, we were at 265 as opposed to 271 the year prior. The average sales price saw a very modest increase from $78,000 last year to $83,000 in 2013 through the first quarter. Distressed sales were down from 42% the year before to 35% by April 1 of this year. Time on market has remained flat with just a two-day change year over year.
These figures indicate slight improvement in some areas and a stronger positive trend in others though the overall consensus is that we have a while to go before we can expect to see a significant change. Our inventory levels are still fairly high and the number of distressed properties continues to dominate a good portion of our market but we’re moving in the right direction. We expect to see a slow yet steady improvement over the next 18 to 24 months.
For a customized look at your property as it relates to today’s marketplace or if you’d like our assistance in finding the perfect home here in the Grand Strand, contact us today!
at 8:31 AM
Thursday, March 21, 2013
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A consistent factor in nearly all the markets across the nation since late 2007 has been inventory and in many cases – too much of it. Whether this meant a large number of distressed sales, homes that just were not selling enough or buyers lacking confidence to buy – much of America went through a real estate downturn.
Distressed Property Inventory Lowest in Several Years
Today, that has changed. Not only is it a very active marketplace but also we are seeing a complete shift in trends whereas sellers now have the upper hand in lower to mid-level price ranges.
Consider this: just two years ago as much as forty percent of our available inventory was made up of short sales and bank owned properties. Today’s distressed property inventory has significantly reduced. Of our present-day 4,000 or so homes on the market right now, only 4% of them are bank owned foreclosures, which translates to about currently active 180 listings. For condos that number is even lower at just 3.3% of the approximate 3,500 available condos for sale being distressed properties.
Multiple Offers Are Artificially Inflating Prices
What was once very much a buyer-controlled marketplace has complete turned the tables – even for distressed properties. Buyers are up against a lot of competition, particularly in the $200,000 and under price bracket. It is necessary to be prepared to pay close to asking price for many of these homes given the high occurrence of multiple offer situations these days.
As demand continues to rise and inventory keeps dwindling downward buyers will be facing more and more of these situations where prices will be artificially inflated. So far the Fed has not done much to change interest rates and the expectation is that they will last at least a while longer. With fewer distressed properties competing with standard sales now is a great time for buyers to get in on the action.
Sellers Market for Homes Priced $200k and Under
With all the pent up demand from after the Presidential election and then the Fiscal Cliff issue – now there is a lot more consumer confidence and much more buyer activity in the marketplace. If you have been on the fence about selling – this is the time to jump off and consider listing your home before mainstream spring market sellers begin to list.
As always, we provide a market snapshot on our video blog but for a customized look at your own real estate outlook and goals, I invite you to visit us! We look forward to helping you achieve your goals!
at 7:31 AM
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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As your real estate resource center, we’re committed to keeping you up to date on changes in the market—and what they mean to you. I’m constantly talking to real estate agents, asking them questions to try to take the pulse of what they’re hearing from their buyers. In the past week, I’m hearing repeatedly and with a sense of frustration that there’s no inventory—nothing to show buyers, but what they’re really saying is there are no quality listings priced correctly to show the buyers. In this blog I’ll tell you how this perception can help you.
There are lots of homes on the market. In fact, the MLS statistics show that single-family homes are at a 12-month supply, which means that if a house is put on the market it would take on average 12 months to sell. Only 300 out of the 3,800 in inventory are selling a month. On the condo side, only 250 out of 3,200 are selling a month, which amounts to a 12.5 month supply. As you can see, the inventory is there. We’re noticing, however, a gap between what’s out there and good solid inventory in good condition that’s priced correctly.
What does this mean to you? If you’re thinking of selling, we’re at the beginning of the selling market. The perception of the agents is that there’s no inventory, which is creating a little buzz of “We need to buy!” There is inventory, but quality homes that are priced correctly have diminished. Distressed property is also down at 8%. If you’re thinking about selling, don’t wait any longer.
Give me a call so I can tell you where to be positioned and how to be successful in this market. Please contact me at (843) 251-2693. We’d be happy to assist you.
at 11:05 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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There’s so much talk these days about staging a home when you think about selling. And there is a lot of merit to that. However, it does involve an investment and some homes simply don’t need full staging before placing them on the market.
We talked to Simon Phillips, President of AHG Professional Painting here in Myrtle Beach and he shared his secrets with us as to how he and his team get a home ready to sell. The beauty of this is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, paint is one of the most effective, inexpensive ways to maximize improvement on the home.
What Colors Should Be Used to Paint Walls?
Phillips advises against using anything too bright or bold because buyers need to be able to imagine their own tastes in the house. A bright red or a glaring purple could easily distract a prospective buyer from seeing the house for what it really is. He suggests choosing neutral colors but that doesn’t mean you need to select only whites and variations of white. You can safely choose a light hue of a warm beige, light yellows and shades of taupe.
How Should Wallpaper Be Handled?
The quick answer is: it depends. Once again, the idea is to demonstrate that your house can become someone else’s home. Since tastes vary so much from one person to the next, the most important thing is to pay attention to neutrality while making sure everything is up to date.
If the wallpaper is outdated or in bad condition, it should be removed. However if it is fairly new, has a neutral look to it and is works with the rest of your home’s décor – you may want to leave it up. Consider an allowance to buyers for wallpaper removal if it becomes a deal breaker. Another important tip that Phillips shares is to use low sheen paint after wallpaper removal. Anything with gloss in it will highlight dents and dings in the wall that are typical after wallpaper comes down.
What Areas of the Exterior of a Home Be Spruced Up With Paint?
As they say, first impressions last a long time. And the last thing you want is for a buyer to drive up only to be put off with a lackluster exterior. There are several things Phillips suggests you can do to prepare your home for sale. Starting with a fresh coat of paint on the mailbox and/or its post.
Moving toward the front door, keep in mind that buyers will be judging the rest of the home on their first impression. In fact, they say the first 8 seconds is all it takes for a buyer to lose interest. If your front door needs some pick-me-up or if the paint seems old – repaint it.
Other areas on the home’s exterior that will leave a strong impression are decks and fencing as well as additional structures that may exist on the property. Repaint or stain decks to liven up the backyard and entice buyers into wanting that extra outdoor living space.
Keep in mind that next to location and pricing – the condition of your home lends the most impact on whether or not it will sell well. For more information and tips on how you can get your house ready, contact us today. To reach Simon Phillips and his team, visit their website at www.PaintingMyrtleBeach.com.
at 8:07 AM