Covid-19 Results as of August 4th

So far in Haywood County we have 348 confirmed cases with 6 deaths.  We did have a death, and confirmed cases in a long-term care facility where several patients and some staff were infected.  There was also a cluster of infections from a local business where 5 staff members infected family and friends.  The numbers are on the rise here in the county.

Remember to wear your masks in public, maintain at least 6 feet of separation between you and others, and wash your hands frequently.

In other words, stay safe!

Update on Local Covid-19 Rules

In North Carolina, we are still under mandatory mask requirements.  All of us must wear a mask when in public and in any business or restaurant.  Of course you can remove your mask while eating, or sitting at your table in a restaurant.  Most of our restaurants are still doing take-out or delivery for meals.  Restaurants that are open for indoor dining have reduced maximum capacities, in order to allow for 6 foot social distancing.

In North Carolina, we now have almost 90,000 cases, with 1552 deaths reported.  Today the NC Dept. of Health reported 1956 new cases, up from 1827 on Monday.  However, this is down from the 2462 cases that were reported this past Saturday, which was the all time high for the state.  As of today we have 1109 North Carolinians hospitalized with Covid-19.  This is the highest single day total since the virus began.

Governor Cooper is scheduled to announce school opening plans today.  The plan is expected to detail his plans which could include a mix of in-person and online learning.

Wishing good health for you and your families, where ever you are.

Recent Sales and Covid 19 News

For the month of June 2020, 83 homes and condos were sold (closed sales) in Haywood County.  This is an increase of 20% over the month of May 2020, so homes sales are really starting to rebound.  However, to put this in perspective, sales in June 2020 were still off 28% from June 2019 (Year Over Year).  Aside from the virus, sales are still somewhat limited due to lack of inventory.  Based on the 83 homes sold in June, we have less than a 4 month supply of homes on the market.  This represents a 25% absorption rate.  Anything over 20% is considered a sellers market.  All these numbers mean it’s a great time to put your home on the market.

As to the latest news on Covid 19, we are now under an executive order from the governor concerning face masks.  Face masks must be worn at all times when in public.  Face masks must be worn by all customers entering a business, even restaurants (of course you can remove them at your table).  Face masks must also be worn by all employees of a business.  If a business does not require face masks, they can be cited for not doing so.  Hopefully, this will reduce the spread of the virus in our state.

Home Sales and the Virus

For the month of May 2020, 66 homes were sold in Haywood County.  (The Maggie Valley/ Waynesville/ Clyde/ Canton areas)  This represents over a 40 percent decline in sales as compared to May 2019.  Of course this is mostly due to the virus as we had restrictions in place for most of the month.  Another factor limiting sales was inventory.  Due to high sales volumes last year, and earlier this year, inventories of homes for sale is at the lowest level we have seen in almost a decade.  So many retirees have bought second homes here, and have moved here.  As restrictions ease, we do expect sales to rise considerably.  So, if you are considering a home in the area, come on up to the mountains as we are here to help you find that perfect mountain dream home.  Remember, interest rates are at an all-time low for mortgages.  I have seen some rates under 3% for 30-year mortgages.

The state has eased virus restrictions a lot.  Many restaurants have been open for drive-in or take out service, but now many are open for in-restaurant dining.  Seating capacity is limited to 5o% of normal capacity, and tables must be 6 feet apart for social distancing.  Also, many restaurants have increased their outside seating to accommodate diners who are still afraid of going into the restaurants.  (And for those of us with 4-legged fur babies!)

Here’s hoping you and yours are staying safe.

The State of Real Estate in WNC

Currently we are in phase 2 of the stay-at-home orders in NC.  Many, if not most, businesses are open with certain restrictions and social distancing.  People are encouraged to wear masks in public.  Restaurants may open with restrictions for indoor dining, but some restaurants have not tried to open yet.  Many restaurants are still serving carry-out, and drive-in windows are open.  In Haywood County we currently have 48 cases of Covid 19 with 23 cases already recovered.  NC has 22,725 cases confirmed with 11,637 recovered and 737 deaths.

Real Estate, although still very active, has slowed due to the stay-at-home restrictions through much of April and May.  In May of 2019 we sold 116 homes and condos.  This year in May we sold only 65 homes and condos representing a 44% decline in home sales.  No only have the stay-at-home orders slowed sales, many clients living in their homes removed their homes from the market, as they did not want showings due to the virus.  Inventories were already on the low side before the virus.  With some owners removing their homes from the market, and other potential sellers waiting for the virus to wane before marketing their home, this placed even more pressures on inventories.  With inventories remaining very low, sales prices have remained very stable, or even increased.

Also mortgage rates have dipped to 3% on some federally-backed home loans.  These are historically low mortgage rates.

What is the bottom line?  If you are thinking about selling your home, or thinking about buying a home, now is a great time for real estate.

Call us for an appointment to look for that dream home, or give you a market analysis on your home if you are considering selling.

Update on Corona Virus Restrictions

Currently we are still under state mandated restrictions here in Haywood County.  As of May 8th many more retail businesses opened here, with restrictions to 50% normal occupancy and 6 ft. social distancing to be observed.  Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors will still remain closed.  Childcare can now open for working parents.  Restaurants and bars remain closed for dine-in service and on-premises beverage consumption.  Movie theaters, bowling alleys, performance venues, health clubs and gyms remain closed.  However, the stay at home order still remains in place.  Visitation is still banned at long-term care facilities.

We can leave home to purchase groceries, or to shop at any retail shops that are now open.  We can leave home to golf, walk, run, hike, fish or hunt while observing social distancing.  We can also gather at other people’s homes, limited to groups of 10 or less.  We can also travel to medical appointments and government services.  Worship services are encouraged to be outside and observe social distancing.  I have seen some drive-in church services.  All employees, where possible, are encouraged to work from home.

The above is meant as a general recap, and is not all-encompassing.  Hopefully we will see phase 2 restrictions in a few weeks to free-up more options for everyone.

Out of state buyers can still come here to view real estate.  Real estate is considered an essential business.  Let us know your plans and we will assist in finding lodging for your visit.

Stay safe out there, and wear your mask when you are in public.

Corona Virus Restrictions have been Eased for Home Buyers

I wanted to let everyone know, if you are looking to purchase a home or land here in Haywood County, that you may now travel here to view property.  Property buyers are now considered “essential services personnel” under out Corona Virus restrictions.  Most motels are not open, but a few are now open for “essential services personnel”.  Please contact us before you travel, and we can arrange lodging for you.  We do have to travel in separate cars and maintain a 6 foot distance between ourselves and take common sense precautions against the virus.

So far here in Haywood County, we only have 9 cases of the virus, and 5 of those have recovered.  We have been extremely fortunate when compared to some other locations.  The stay-at-home order does seem to have protected our county.  I believe many of the restrictions will begin to ease in the near future.

So, if you are looking for that mountain home, plus are tired of staying at home, call us and let us know what type of property you have an interest, and provide us with your travel plans.  We will find lodging for you, and set up appointments for your home search.

Otherwise, stay safe out there!

More Local Info on Coronavirus

Below is a letter sent to all Haywood County Realtors® concerning Coronavirus restrictions.

It has been determined that real estate is an essential business.  As an essential business, buyers may travel here to view or purchase real estate.  There are only certain hotels, motels and rentals that are staying open for essential occupants.  Let us know when you plan to visit and we can help find accommodations for you.  You will have to call thee Coronavirus Hot Line at 828-356-2019 and let them know you are here, and that you are looking for real estate.  They will only ask a few simple questions.  Many of our restaurants are open for carry-out meals with curb service so you can avoid personal contact.

If you already own a home here, and are coming up to stay in your home, you must call the number above and register.  You must then quarantine yourself for 14 days.  So, if you do this, bring your groceries with you, as you will not be able to leave your home for 14 days.

I hope this helps answers your questions if you were wanting to come to Haywood County to view properties.  Please let us know how we can help you.  We are all in this together.





Coronavirus Updates from Haywood County

Being a rural area in these mountain seems to give us some advantage over the spread of viral infections compared to more urban areas.  However, that does not mean that we are not practicing social distancing and washing our hands.  The county fathers and our governor have us under stay at home orders for all but essential health care, public safety personnel, and other essential services such as grocery stores and carry-out restaurants.  We are allowed to go out for food at the grocery stores and at restaurants serving take out or drive-through.

For travelers coming into the area from another county or state the rules are somewhat different.  If you have been gone from the county for 3 days or more, you must call 828-356-2019 when entering the county and register.  You must then self quarantine for 14 days.  By quarantine, I mean you cannot even leave your home to go to the grocery store.  This applies to second home owners returning to their homes here.  So if you do decide to come to your home in Haywood County, you must register with the above number and quarantine for 14 days.  (Bring some groceries!)

Also all hotels, motels, and campgrounds cannot take new guests,  and VRBO rentals are prohibited for less than 15 days.  In other words, if someone comes here from elsewhere, there is no lodging unless they own a home here, or you have rented a VRBO home for 15 days or more, and even then you must call, register, and quarantine.

Some areas have taken this even further.  The Cherokee Reservation has set up roadblocks at all roads entering Cherokee.  If you do not live on the reservation, you cannot enter.  The Cashiers/ Highlands area of Jackson County has similar roadblocks.

Certainly all of these actions might seem somewhat extreme, but we do have an older, more vulnerable population here, as this is a retirement area.

If you have any question feel free to call either Paul at 828-421-3655, or Danny at 828-734-1120.

Thoughts about the Coronavirus

I wanted to share some thoughts about what is happening now with events being cancelled and businesses closing temporarily.  Here in Haywood County, schools are closed for at least 2 weeks, as our governor declared all K-12 schools must close for at least 2 weeks.  In neighboring Buncombe County (Asheville) schools will be closed for 3 weeks, and possibly longer.  There has been some discussion in Buncombe County of closing schools through the end of the school year.

Here in Haywood County, many people are laying low at home, although no cases of the virus have been found in our county.  The closest case so far is in Watauga County at Boone.  Our local grocery stores still have toilet paper, although there has been some panic buying of staples.  Yesterday at Ingles in Waynesville, many items were getting low on the shelves, but Pat, the manager, said they were unloading a truck full of groceries in the rear of the store.  Our grocery stores have also announced shorter hours due to the virus.  Ingles will now be closing at 10PM and Publix is now closing at 8PM.

Cataloochee Ski Area here in Maggie Valley announced they would be closing as of yesterday for the season.  They still had plenty of snow, but decided having hundreds of customers in close proximity would not be a good idea.

Some restaurants in Asheville have announced they will be open for carry-out orders only.

The governor has also issued an executive order banning mass gatherings of 100 or more people.

Feel free to call us directly if you have any questions about closings.  Call Paul at 828-421-3655, or Danny at 828-734-1120

I must add that we feel much safer here in the mountains than if we were in a large city.