Covid Update for 9/14/2020

Currently our total count for Covid-19 cases in Haywood County is at 555 with 31 deaths so far.

On September 4th the governor issued a new phase of updated restrictions.  This order changed to mass gathering limits to  25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.  Playgrounds are now open to the public.  Museums and aquariums to open at 50% capacity.  Fitness and competitive physical activity facilities can open at 30% capacity.  All employers are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings to their employees.

Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, amusement parks, dance halls, and other entertainment facilities will remain closed.  Restaurants remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements for in-person dining.  Personal care businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, barber shops and more remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements.  Large venues remain subject to mass gathering limits above.  Wedding receptions and other private events remain subject to the mass gathering limits.  Face coverings are still required in public.

Please remember to wear your face mask when in public.

Thanks and stay safe!

Covid-19 Update for 8/31/2020

Per Haywood County Health and Human Service, here are the current Covid-19 cases for Haywood County.

Total Tested- 11,053, Total Positive Tests- 498, Total Recovered- 362, Deaths- 29, Cases Last 7 Days- 21, Covid-19 Working Number- 189, Currently in Isolation- 97, Currently in Quarantine- 92.

We are still under state mandates for wearing masks when in public, and maintaining a 6 ft. individual separation when in public.  High risk individuals are urged to stay at home.  There is still  a 10 person limit on indoor gatherings, and a 25 person on outdoor gatherings.  Bars must still remain closed, but restaurants may open at 50% occupancy.  Barber shops, salons and personal care businesses my open with 50% occupancy.  Gyms and playgrounds must still remain closed.  Visitation in long-term care facilities is not permitted.

It does seem that our curve is flattening here in the county.  We are more isolated and protected than other larger population counties.  Hopefully everyone will wear their masks and maintain 6 ft. separation when in public as mandated.

The phase 2 mandates are in effect until September 11th.  At that time the governor will take a look at the state-wide numbers and determine whether or not to extend the phase 2 mandates.

Thank you and stay safe.

Mid-Month Covid Update

According to the Haywood County, NC Health Department, we have had 445 positive cases out of 8987 total tests.  288 have now recovered, with 19 deaths.  We have had 70 new cases in the last 7 days and currently have 127 people in isolation and 228 in quarantine.

60 days ago we only had 67 cases, so we have had a large increase in the last 60 days.  The governor has accordingly kept the state in Phase 2 restrictions in place until September 11th.  Phase 2 has allowed restaurants to open for on-premises dining, with strict limits on occupancy.  There are specific requirements for disinfection of common spaces and there must be 6 feet of separation between tables.  Personal care business (barber shops, grooming, massage, and tattoo business) may also open with similar separation between customers as restaurants.  Group gatherings are limited to groups of 10 indoors, and groups of 25 outdoors.  Phase 2 also requires face masks to be worn in public by everyone.

Public playgrounds, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, museums, bowling alleys, amusement parks, arcades and skating rinks must remain closed.  Visitation at long-term care facilities remains restricted, except for certain compassionate care situations.  Gyms, exercise facilities, fitness studios, martial arts facilities, dance studios and basketball courts remain closed.

Public health officials remind us all about the 3 W”s:

Wear a face covering,

Wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer,

Wait 6 feet apart from other people.

Stay Safe!

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!