Friday, October 16, 2009

Economist projects local growth in 2010

Woody Hall at Economic Outlook Conference. Photo by Woody Hall at UNCW's Economic Forcast 2010. Photo by UNCW/Jamie Moncrief

At the UNCW Economic Outlook Conference, economist Woody Hall forecasted that the growth in southeastern North Carolina will be four percent in 2010, compared to one percent growth in 2009 and 0.75 percent in 2008.

Hall also said that the 9.6 percent unemployment rate is the highest in twenty-five years and that the state as a whole continues to outpace the national rate.

“There is something different with this (recession), than I’ve lived through. That is that the unemployment rate in North Carolina has been higher than the nation,” Hall said.

Hall said that employment in real estate has gone from one in every five jobs to one in every seven, and that home sales are still down.

In a segment about the 2009 economy and 2010 outlook, Tom Simpson, formerly of the Federal Reserve system presented factors for the current recession and what the future holds. Simpson pointed to December 2007 as the beginning of the recession and said that it could have been much worse.

“We could’ve gone down the path of the 1930s,” Simpson said. “But it’s really the Federal Reserve that is responsible for us dodging the bullet.”

Simpson noted that TARP funds given to banks and creating lower interest rates as reasons why the recession hasn’t been any worse.

He also laid out the reasons for the current downturn, including escalating home prices, leveraging and compounding risk and complex securities. Simpson said that he was one of the ones in favor of the securitazation of loans, thinking they would limits risks. “We were wrong," Simpson said simply.

Also, the fairly rapid increase in national unemployment has been surprising as well, as it has doubled since the recession began, he said. “The rise of the unemployment is greater than one would expect,” Simpson said.

Simpson said that signs of life have been found in the commercial banking sector. They are borrowing less in the last three months than they did earlier this year. In commercial real estate, national vacancy rates in the commercial real estate are still high.

Along with keynote speaker Lew Ebert, the president of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the conference featured a panel discussion on local economic industries, with David Swain, of Swain and Associates, Craig Stevens, CEO of Stevens Fine Homes Tracy Meyer, professor of marketing at the Cameron School and Brian McMerty, partner with the Wilmington Group. Each panelist shared about the trends they’re seeing locally.

“I’m bullish on what’s going on in corporate America. Our business has transformed significantly in the past few years,” McMerty said, noting that changing times has led to changing demands such as in the role of a CFO. “The skillsets that companies needed a few years ago are different going forward.”

Swain said that real estate development changed more to larger corporations during the boom times. “We’re seeing things change so dramatically, it’s hard to keep up with it,” he said. Swain said that he sold properties during the richer times a few years ago, just to have a safety net for when the bottom fell out.

“We held back to see what would happen. Well, it all happened last year,” he said.

Swain said that his company’s small size gives them advantage in adjusting to the marketplace and the he has worked harder on developing personal relationships with merchants and large tenants.

“We have the ability to react to circumstances where the big corporations wont’ have a clue."
Wilmington Business Journal

Wilmington hits the list of best cities for start-ups

Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Wilmington ranked no. 14 in best midsize city to launch a start-up business in the November issue of Fortune Small Business magazine. Screen Gems studio, PPD, GE-Hitachi, and the beach were listed as assets to the area. But, the Port City’s entrepreneurial spirit was particularly recognized.

“In Wilmington, if you can’t find a job, you create one,” according to the article, which can be read online at:

Small business in Wilmington grew at a 12.8 percent rate between 2004 and 2007, according to the article.

Wilmington 2.0 was mentioned as the city’s new project to foster technology-focused business.

Huntsville, Ala., was listed as the top midsize city to launch a business. And, Billings, Montana was the best small city for start-ups.

Jonathan Rowe, director for UNCW’s Center for Entrepreneurship, said “I think we’ve got a lot of pieces in place that make this such a great spot- a good educational foundation, corporation that bring the intellectual capital and a lot of people who move here for lifestyle that have a lot of skills.”

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Classic 1921 Home in Charming Carolina Heights

Enjoy sitting on the large front porch of this classic farmhouse located in popular Carolina Heights. This beautiful home offers many original details as well as the modern amenities of a new home. New kitchen w/Butlers Pantry, stainless appliances, granite counters, New baths & powder room. Beautiful oak floors throughout. Rear alley access for additional parking. 

Search all Wilmington homes at

Popular Hampstead Community, The Highlands at Castle Bay - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

Popular Hampstead Community, The Highlands at Castle Bay - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Wonderful Cape Cod home in desirable Timber Creek - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

Wonderful Cape Cod home in desirable Timber Creek - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

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Wilmington area Multiple Listing Service home search - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

Wilmington area Multiple Listing Service home search - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

Instant Email MLS Notification System. Our automated search is the easiest way to find Your Perfect Property! Just click here to get started. This new home search technique emails you the real estate listings that suit your needs. Whenever new MLS listings matching your criteria hit the market, they're flagged and automatically emailed to you .... Easy, Simple, and Efficient!

Wondering What Your Home Is Worth? -- Let me show you.

Considering relocating to the Wilmington area?
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Wilmington NC resort style Community - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

Wilmington NC resort style Community - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

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Wilmington: Coastal Dream town - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

Wilmington: Coastal Dream town - Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty Real Estate

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Wilmington, NC ~ One of the healthiest housing markets of 2009

Wilmington, NC got some great news from Builder, the information source for the home building industry. Although most markets were down last year, some markets way outperformed others. Wilmington, NC was ranked 14th in the country when comes to healthy housing markets.Wilmington,

According to Builder, “Wilmington has the second highest ratio of permits pulled per resident….” Proving again Wilmington, NC is wonderful place to live with access to the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Fear River, Historic Waterfront, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and much, much more. Even with all of these wonderful reasons to live here in Wilmington, the median home price was still only $198,700. =

To request information, click here

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Real Estate Myths for Buyers and Sellers

Today’s real estate market can be a confusing sea to navigate without a qualified Realtor to look out for your best interests. The family of Realtors here at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty are here to help you through the process to the American dream of owning your own home.

Its always important to address certain Real Estate myths for both Home Buyers and Home Sellers. There are several myths that keep fears running rampant on both sides of the market. Barbara Corcoran, a real estate expert for NBC, did a wonderful job covering a few of these myths recently on the Today Show with Matt Lauer.

10 Real Estate Myths for Buyers and Sellers
Buyer myth No. 1: The longer the house is on the market, the more you can negotiate.When buyers ask, “How long has this property been on the market?”, they think “six months” means they can negotiate the price down. It more often means the seller is stubbornly holding on to their price.
Buyer myth No. 2: The sellers today are desperate.Most aren’t. Always ask why the sellers are selling. It’s the key to finding how motivated and anxious they are. “I’m being transferred to Dallas” is a very different answer than “We’d like to find something bigger.” The first homeowner is hot to trot.
Buyer myth No. 3: You can’t buy a home today with less than 20 percent down.FHA loans require only 3.5 percent down, and you can even ask the seller to pay the closing costs.
Buyer myth No. 4: You need good credit to get a good loan.Once again, the FHA to the rescue! They’re happy to lend money to buyers with bad credit.
Buyer myth No. 5: You shouldn’t buy before prices have bottomed.You can’t sharpshoot the real estate market. Once you identify the “bottom,” prices have already moved up.
Seller myth No. 1: Now’s the absolute worst time to sell.Not necessarily. It depends upon where you live. Many of the worst hit markets, like Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego, are already beginning to turn around. And if you’re a homeowner who wants to trade up, the loss you’ll take on your current home will be more than offset by the bargain you’ll get on the next one.
Seller myth No. 2: Never respond to a low-ball bid.All buyers today feel obligated to put in low-ball offers to see if the seller bites. If you respond with a reasonable counter offer, most buyers can be convinced to come up in price and make the deal.
Seller myth No. 3: The first offer is never the best offer.Most sellers believe that it’s smart to hold out for something better. But four times out of five, the first offer is the best you’ll ever see.
Seller myth No. 4: ‘I can always reduce my price later.’Sellers often price their home high for a few weeks just to test the market. But buyers shop by price bracket and if your house is in the wrong one, you’ll just help sell everyone else’s home while yours sits there overpriced. And reducing your price later in small increments puts you in the position of chasing the tide as it goes out.
Seller myth No. 5: Before you refinance, shop around.You can if you want, but you’ll usually get the best deal from your current lender. And you’ll be able to negotiate your closing costs.

Courtesy of Barbara Corcoran, MSNBC

Forbes Lists Hampstead Homes As Highest In Retaining Home Equity Values

One of the most desirable North Carolina areas is in Hampstead. What a perfect location. In between the waterfront and the Holly Shelter Game Land, you can probably see in your mind’s eye the beautiful coast and equally desirable park landscape. For outdoors people, the Holly Shelter, with almost 50,000 acres promises true wild life, plant life, and endless natural habitats. Also for the outdoors people, the coastal life promises relaxation and a high quality of life. Forbes recently listed Hampstead as No. 20 across the US as retaining the highest levels of home equity. Those are reasons enough to visit Hampstead and look into the real estate opportunities.

Frequently asked question about selling in a buyer's market

Q: Should I wait to sell my house until I can get the same price my neighbor sold for?

A: It’s always better to trade up in a buyer’s market, like the one we are in now. While the value of your house has fallen, the price of higher-end homes has also dropped.

Here's an example. Say your neighbor sold his house six months ago for $300,000. In today's market, your home's value may have decreased 10 percent and you could only get $270,000. So you might think you'd be taking a $30,000 "loss" on your home.

But, don’t forget that higher priced homes have also dropped in price.

So, using the same example, the $500,000 move-up home you'd like to buy has also dropped 10 percent in value and now sells at $450,000. If you sold your home today for $270,000 and purchased the larger house for $450,000, the difference in price would be $180,000.

But if you waited to recoup the 10 percent value on your home and sold it at $300,000, chances are that same move-up home would also move up in price to at least 10 percent to $500,000. That’s a $200,000 price difference between the two homes.

So by not waiting, and selling today, you could actually save $20,000. And most likely, by jumping into the market today your savings would be even greater because consumers have much more bargaining power when shopping for higher-end homes in a buyer’s market.

For answers to more home buying questions, please email us or call us at 910-233-8810

Local real estate market points up foreclosure alternatives

Here’s an astounding fact: Distressed properties accounted for 45 percent of all home resales nationwide in October.
In contrast, foreclosure sales have comprised only a small part of Wilmington’s housing market, according to Susan Lacey, president of the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors.
Foreclosures are concentrated in areas of the country where so-called exotic mortgages made up a big chunk of the lending, says Walter Molony, senior public affairs specialist for the National Association of Realtors. Loans such as option adjustable-rate mortgages and interest-only mortgages were concentrated in areas such as California and Florida but did not account for a substantial portion of the loans made in North Carolina, local and state banking figures say.
Sales of what are called distressed properties are enough of a factor here, however, that a local real estate agent has become the first in the area certified by the national Realtors group to help clients through the process of distress sales and, especially, via what are called short sales.
In a short sale, a lender agrees that an owner can sell his or her home for less than is owed on it.
It’s an alternative to foreclosure, says Melanie Cameron of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, who at the end of October received a National Association of Realtors designation as a distressed-property specialist. She is the first one in Southeastern North Carolina, according to Sea Coast, and one of only eight in the state, Cameron added.
That number is expected to grow.
“What we’re seeing is more inquiries by people about short sales. Many people who want to put their house on the market don’t realize they are in a short-sale situation,” said Tim Milam, president of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast.
People, especially those who bought at the top of the market and put little or nothing down, may have seen any equity they had evaporate as home values have fallen from boom-time levels. They may, in fact, find themselves owing more on the property than they can sell it for.
Distressed properties include foreclosed homes, and there’s a market here for that as well.
Search distressed properties here