Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

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!

Dec. 17, 2018

Hurricanes, mudslides and roads closed – oh my!

December 2018

 

This year the beloved Hickory Nut Gorge has been inundated with torrential downfalls, mud slides, fallen trees and road closures. Hurricanes Florence and Michael left numerous marks on the area. While the strength of our residents prevails, Mother Nature certainly had a less than optimal effect on real estate sales during our most popular season.  While home sales have been good, the numbers are slightly off track from the past several years.  And those in anticipation of high traffic from the World Equestrian Games are surely disappointed that equestrians and guests didn’t come flocking to the gorge seeking real estate.

Don’t despair!  The area fared well despite circumstances.  Between January 1 and September 30, Lake Lure (zip code 28746) had 98 single-family homes sold.  Of those, 70 sold at $400,000 or less and 28 sold for prices above $400,000.  The same period in 2017 had 114 sales of single-family homes – 94 at $400,000 or less and 20 at prices above $400,000.  In summary, the number of single-family residential sales was 14% below the same period for 2017, although perhaps a better-than-average year for the area given the traveling obstacles that had to be overcome.

On a positive note, showing activity spiked in the first two weeks of October. Optimistic buyers are inquiring and ready!  For the holidays, don’t forget to invite friends and family who may have an interest in joining our beloved community - there’s nothing like the Lake Lure Lifestyle!

Sept. 3, 2018

Welcome World Equestrian Games Visitors!

Sept. - Oct. 2018

During the games, many of you will be getting your first glimpse of our beautiful part of the world and hopefully a true sense of “southern hospitality” during your visit. As time permits, get around and explore our many scenic vistas, waterfalls, state parks, and of course Lake Lure (once named one of the top 10 most beautiful manmade lakes by National Geographic magazine).  If you develop an urge to own a piece of our paradise there are homes available to suit any need or want – from lake front homes to cozy mountain cabins and more.  We’ll gladly welcome you back any time!

For our regular readers, just a reminder it’s time to start thinking spring!  Fall is the perfect to make note of any home maintenance projects you’ve been ignoring, especially if you’re contemplating selling your property next spring or summer.  Begin noticing all the “little things” you’ve been living with that really need to be fixed, updated, or refreshed to avoid being overwhelmed when you decide the time is right to list your home for sale.

It’s a common homeowner thing.  We all have little things we know need to be repaired or replaced, and many of us know we’ll get around to it – some day.  Even if you’re not planning a move, these minor irritations have likely become something you’re simply tolerating without even noticing.  Doors that don’t close properly, cabinet doors that need adjustment, nicks in the walls or trim, dirty air filters (and the grates that conceal them), burned out light bulbs, loose door hardware, carpenter bee damage, carpet that should have been stretched or replaced years ago, cobwebs in the corners of your two-story living room ceiling . . . the list could go on.

The bottom line is this: the “little things” you don’t notice anymore are the very things a prospective buyer will notice almost immediately.  So grab the toolbox and start fixing!  Better you find it before a home inspector does and makes note of a seemingly silly repair.  If your home is 15 – 20 years old pay attention to the mechanical systems.  Is the heating/cooling system nearing the end of its life? Has the septic tank been pumped and the system inspected in the past few years? How old is the roof, and in what condition? Does the exterior have a good coat of paint or stain? Are there any issues in the crawl space or basement?

Don’t wait for spring to arrive to tackle little projects.  At least make a list of the things you know need to be taken care of, then set a game plan for eliminating what could become “perceived problems.” When you decide to sell it will make your preparation time shorter and help you get a better price for your home.

Aug. 6, 2018

Stormy Weather Doesn’t Dampen the Local Real Estate Market!

August 2018

 

Despite nature having caused rushing rivers, flooding and mudslides this spring, home sales have only suffered slightly, and only in terms of the number of homes sold in the first half of the year. Statistics for Single Family Homes from Carolina MLS show that year-to-date the average price/sq. ft. and average selling price have both increased while the number of days on market had a decrease.  Good signs of what’s likely for the remainder of 2018.  The lower number of homes sold is most likely attributed to weeks of stormy weather, with unusually high amounts of rain in The Gorge.

January 1 – June 30

Homes Sold

Average $/sq. ft.

Average Days on Market

Average List Price

Average Sale Price

% List/Sell

High Sale Price

Low Sale Price

Median Sale Price

2016

75

$156

204

$268,762

$250,659

.93

$1,095,000

$30,011

$201,685

2017

92

$162

229

$313,978

$291,757

.93

$2,050,000

$50,000

$230,000

2018

63

$182

160

$355,766

$337,515

.95

$965,000

$85,000

$290,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Activity

Homes for Sale

Average $/sq. ft.

Average Days on Market

Average List Price

 

 

High List Price

Low List Price

Median List Price

As of 7/8/2018

171

$252

259

$603,169

 

 

$4,600,000

$74,900

$450,000

 

Breaking down the number of sales by price range helps provide a better understanding of the averages above. Doing the same for currently active and under contract listings is intended to provide a snapshot of the current local real estate market.

January 1 – June 30, 2018

Total

< $200K

$200K - $299K

$300K - $399K

$400K - $599K

$600K - $799K

$800K - $999K

> $1M

Homes Sold

63

13

20

12

11

6

1

0

% of sales

 

21%

32%

19%

17%

10%

1%

0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Active Listings as of 7/8/2018

171

12

43

22

40

20

10

24

Under Contract as of 7/8/2018

11

3

3

4

0

0

1

0

 

While sales are strongest in the under $400,000 price ranges, sellers with home values greater than that shouldn’t get discouraged.  It’s an opportunity to make sure that your home looks as good or better than your competition because there are fewer buyers looking at those homes.  An updated home in pristine condition is more likely to be the one a savvy buyer will select.  Basic updates/upgrades, fresh paint, tidy landscaping and well-arranged furniture all make a difference. Having a lake and/or mountain view or being waterfront is a bonus!

July 2, 2018

Loving Life In The Hickory Nut Gorge

July 2018

 

While the Hickory Nut Gorge is a popular tourist and vacation destination, it is also a fabulous place to live and play. Any full time or part time resident will happily give you a list of reasons they love living here, and why anyone would love the peaceful, easy way of life in the Gorge!

 

The residents of the Hickory Nut Gorge communities are perhaps the greatest asset. People are friendly, welcoming and many lifetime friendships have been made. There is a remarkable sense of community. When trouble strikes everyone pitches in to make a difference for all. During the 2016 Party Rock fire, the emergency personnel were inspired by the level of community volunteerism and support. More recently the area suffered from the lingering aftermath of subtropical storm Albert which brought as much as 20” of rain to the area causing flooding and mudslides.  The raging Rocky Broad River carried unusually high amounts of sediment and large debris into Lake Lure. Volunteers were quick to clean up Chimney Rock Village, and teams of town personnel and volunteers spent days clearing the Lake to quickly restore safety for boating and other water sports.

 

The breathtaking natural beauty of the area is obvious. Lake Lure, owned and maintained by the Town of Lake Lure, truly is one of the most beautiful lakes anywhere.  It is easy to enjoy mountain and lake life at the same time!  No matter where you drive, there is always an amazing view – mountains, the lake, rivers, gorges, forests. If you’re an adventurer/hiker/mountain biker, hike one of many area trails or climb to the top of Chimney Rock where you’ll find stunning views in all directions. Another not-to-miss attraction is the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge which crosses the Rocky Broad River, a volunteer created and lovingly maintained project with a multitude of plantings and fun décor. In the evenings, outstanding sunsets are common.

 

Not too hot, not too cold!  The Hickory Nut Gorge enjoys an isothermal climate, providing four distinct seasons and moderate temperatures year-round. Winters are short (avg. high 54 /low 32⁰ December – February), Spring is delightful (avg. high70⁰/low 43⁰ March - April), Summer is pleasant (avg. high 85⁰/low 62⁰ May – September), and Fall is fabulous (avg high 68⁰/low 44⁰ October and November). Average annual snowfall total is 8”, just enough to make snow-lovers happy and not enough to seriously bother those who’d prefer none! Historic average data obtained from Intellicast.

 

Last, but certainly not least, there are no stop lights or traffic jams in the Gorge!!  Travel to and from larger towns and cities is easy, with access to Interstates 40 and 26 just 30 minutes away. If a laid-back, friend-filled lifestyle is for you there are homes available in styles, sizes, and price ranges to meet almost anyone’s needs. The local real estate market is stable, with a slightly higher average sales price and 30-day shorter average time on market this year to date, as compared with 2017 (January 1 – June 10 time period).

May 7, 2018

Patience and Understanding Are Virtues In The Lake Lure Area

May - June 2018

 

In the Lake Lure area sellers complain that their properties aren’t selling fast enough.  For buyers coming from booming metropolitan areas they want to know why properties have been on the market more than a week!  Local real estate professionals can only dream about overnight sales, with multiple offers on all properties.  This is not that kind of market.

Lake Lure real estate is doing well under the circumstances of being a “destination” location.  We don’t have the luxury of sellers moving to another property in the same area.  We don’t have first-time buyers.  We depend on visitors falling in love with our beautiful, charming setting.  Or family members relocating to be close to parents. Or people looking for a temperate climate for relocating.

In the face of challenges, sales of property in the Lake Lure area are solid.  And keeping pace with the past year or two.  Whether you’re planning to buy or sell here, don’t have unrealistic expectations of how long a property has been or will be on the market. Buyers, don’t think that a property that has been on the market more than 30 days is “stale”.  Sellers, don’t expect your property to sell overnight unless it is in immaculate condition, fully updated, flawlessly maintained inside and out, and a ready/willing/able buyer is already on the sidelines!

The chart below compares the first quarter of 2018 with the first quarter of 2017.  All is well, and we’ve only just begun the 2018 “selling season”.  For a more detailed information visit www.LakeLureLife.com/blog or ask your real estate professional.

Price Range

# Active

(as of 4/13/18)

Avg. Days on Market

# Under Contract

Avg. Days on Market

# Sold

Avg. $/sq.ft

Avg. Days on Market

1/1/2018 – 3/31/2018

TOTALS

122

291

21

221

23

$194

280

<$200K

10

270

5

73

5

$130

252

$200K - $299K

33

337

9

161

7

$140

279

$300K - $399K

14

223

3

428

6

$160

62

$400K - $599K

28

231

3

218

3

$282

276

$600K - $799K

12

320

1

224

2

$256

533

$800K - $999K

10

290

0

 

0

 

 

$1 mil – 1.99 mil

11

492

0

 

0

 

 

$2 mil +

4

156

0

 

0

 

 

1/1/2017 – 3/31/2017

TOTALS

 

30

$193

252

<$200K

 

 

NOTE:  Data for properties that were Active and Under Contract during the first quarter of 2017 is not determinable.

10

$115

213

$200K - $299K

11

$149

228

$300K - $399K

5

$162

240

$400K - $599K

2

$267

256

$600K - $799K

2

$274

322

$1 mil – 1.99 mil

0

 

 

$2 mil +

0

 

 

Information taken from Carolina Multiple Listing Service.  Deemed accurate, but not guaranteed.

 

 

Feb. 16, 2018

Lake Lure Area Real Estate Trending Upward

Sometimes numbers speak louder than words!  We are frequently asked how the local real estate market is doing.  While there are many variables and explanations for differences in numbers, or questions buyers and sellers may have, it is important to understand there are differences among price ranges.  The most simplistic way to present the information in this case is to generalize, using only data from Lake Lure (zip code 28746).  Data from areas close by and throughout the Hickory Nut Gorge would be somewhat comparable.

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Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 1, 2018

Current Market Data

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. 

 

DOWNLOAD 2018 STATISTICS FOR LAKE LURE HOME SOLD

 

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You can sign up here to receive your own customized market report , with updates delivered monthly! It contains active, pending, and recently sold properties so you can see actual homes in your area. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us with an questions.

We are happy to provide additional details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please contact us to request a customized market analysis for your property. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 8, 2018

The Excitement of Being “Under Contract”

Jan.- Feb. 2018

 

Maybe you’re a seller who has waited months for the perfect buyer for your home and they finally appeared.  Or perhaps you looked diligently for months to find your perfect home in the mountains and “the one” finally came on the market so you nabbed it. You’ve negotiated agreeable terms and now have an executed contract. With great enthusiasm you look forward to the process of moving toward closing.  With good reason you’re excited!  But wait . . . there’s a due diligence period during which the buyer has every opportunity to have the home inspected inside and out, secure financing if needed, and solidify their intent to proceed with the purchase, or not.

In any real estate transaction you can expect at least a little turbulence along the way. This will first arise during the negotiation of terms of the contract: purchase price, duration of due diligence period, closing date, and any requests for personal property to be included that the seller hadn’t planned on leaving.  The next and most certain occurrence of turbulence is all the events that will happen during the due diligence period: home inspections (including radon, septic and anything else the buyer wants checked) and negotiation of any repairs requested, glitches with buyer’s loan approval, a delay in the appraisal being returned or having to delay the closing date for reasons beyond either party’s or their broker’s control.

The best way to handle issues that arise during the process is to stay calm, be realistic and remember the goal! Buyers and sellers frequently place different value on different features of the property – what one felt was the best decorating idea they ever had, the other will think it’s exactly what they didn’t want (but they’re willing to overlook that). Or there’s a difference of opinion on what repairs are “absolutely necessary”.  Or the inspection reveals an issue that was completely unexpected but now becomes a material fact if not taken care of. A septic tank under concrete that would be challenging to have cleaned out, a buried oil tank that nobody knew existed discovered during an attempt to locate a septic tank, a crack in the pipe between a pump and the uphill tank discovered during a septic inspection or rotted wood visible only from a thorough inspection of the crawl space are some recent real-life examples.  You’ve not only had to negotiate the contract but now face having to negotiate the requested repair list and determine whether the seller will make the repairs or offer a concession, or the buyers will accept the property without any or all repairs. Until the end of the due diligence period the buyer has a right to terminate the contract and have the earnest money returned. 

With skillful negotiation and reasonable expectations from all parties to the transaction, almost anything can be satisfactorily resolved to reach the goal: a successful closing!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 6, 2017

A Season of Reflection and Change

Nov-Dec. 2017

Heading into the final months of the year always has me looking back on what’s happened in the year so far, looking forward to events that will fill the holiday season, and eagerly anticipating what the new year will hold in store.

The first three quarters of 2017 have continued to show strength in the Gorge with regard to real estate sales.  Sales have been a little better than last year, sellers have gladly welcomed new owners to their properties, and the area has gained several new full-time residents.  The volume of buyer inquiries generally ebbs and flows, and that has held true this year.  However, we appear to be going into the winter months with a general increase in buyer interest in the Hickory Nut Gorge area, many planning trips to the area before the end of the year.  Some doing preliminary research for their planned visit next year. 

We can all be thankful that last year’s tragic forest fire left relatively little evidence of it’s having burned over 7,000 of our beloved, forested acres.  And in the midst of tragedy, our community was brought together and strengthened in ways none of could have imagined. We’ll be blessed again with the divine colors that cover the mountains around us.  The leaves will fall and the silhouette of naked trees will bring a new sense of beauty.  What a wonderful place to live and play!  As a real estate broker I am always proud to show off what we have to offer, and explain how amazing it is to live here.

This year has brought exciting changes at Lake Lure Professionals Realty Group (aka Keller Williams® Lake Lure).  On August 1 I became the new owner of a solid firm founded by Charlene and David Efird, and am honored to have the opportunity to carry on its legacy.  Charlene and David will remain active brokers with the firm, Lisa Fye continues as our loyal office administrator, Todd Morse and I will continue to assist buyers and sellers, and Debbie Sena and Bruce McKinney have joined our team of brokers. By the time you receive this edition of The Mountain Breeze you’ll likely have noticed a new name, logo and signage around the area.  After much consideration, we collectively decided the time had come to become an independent firm (versus an affiliate of a franchise).  Lifestyle Properties is the new name in town, not a new real estate company! 

Our offices will remain at the Gateway Center on Memorial Highway, and we invite you to stop by to say hi and meet our new brokers.  We eagerly anticipate what 2018 will have in store for us, and look forward to continuing to provide the service we have become known for.

Wishing all the best for you and your families during the holiday season and into the New Year!

Sept. 4, 2017

Don’t fall back, spring forward!

Sept. - Oct. 2017

Okay, so we have yet to experience the beautiful fall foliage season in the Hickory Nut Gorge and I’m already thinking spring?  Yes!  Because homeowners contemplating selling next year should begin preparing now to be ready for the spring/summer selling market.  Now is the time to begin noticing all the “little things” you’ve been living with that really need to be fixed, updated, or refreshed to avoid being overwhelmed when you decide the time is right to list your home for sale.

It’s a common homeowner thing.  We all have little things we know need to be repaired or replaced, and many of us know we’ll get around to it – some day.  Even if you’re not planning a move, these minor irritations have become something you’re simply tolerating without even noticing.  Doors that don’t close properly, cabinet doors that need adjustment, nicks in the walls or trim, dirty air filters (and the grates that conceal them), burned out light bulbs, loose door hardware, carpenter bee damage, carpet that should have been stretched or replaced years ago, cobwebs in the corners of your two-story living room ceiling . . . the list could go on.

The bottom line is this: the “little things” you don’t notice anymore are the very things a prospective buyer will notice almost immediately.  So grab the toolbox and start fixing!  Better you find it before a home inspector does and makes note of a seemingly silly repair.  If your home is 15 – 20 years old pay attention to the mechanical systems.  Is the heating/cooling system nearing the end of its life? Has the septic tank been pumped and the system inspected in the past few years? How old is the roof, and in what condition? Does the exterior have a good coat of paint or stain? Are there any issues in the crawl space or basement?

Don’t wait for spring to arrive to tackle little projects.  Fall is a good time to at least make a list of the things you know need to be taken care of, then set a game plan for eliminating what could become “perceived problems.” When you decide to sell it will make your preparation time shorter and help you get a better price for your home.

Posted in Real Estate Tips