Blog

The Inventory of Homes for Sale Continues to Shrink

I looked at few numbers today in our Multiple Listings Service (MLS).  Our inventory of homes for sale in Haywood County in the 0- $400,000 range is down to 345 homes.  There were 84 homes sold in the past month in this price range.  That means we now have only a 4.1 months supply of homes.   Just a little over 3 years ago we had over a 36 month supply homes in the 0 to $400,000 price range.  That equates to almost 9 times the supply we now have on the market.  We have definitely gone from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.

In the 0- $300,000 range, our supply is even lower with only a 3 month supply of homes for sale.  (245 homes on the market with 81 sold in the last 31 days)

As the price range gets lower, the numbers shrink again.  In the 0-$200,00 price range, we have only 107 homes on the market and have sold 41 in the last 31 days.  That equates to a 2.6 month supply of homes in this price range.

If you have a home here, and have considered selling, now is a GREAT TIME TO SELL!  Give us a call and we will do a market analysis on your home to see how much your home is worth in this current seller’s market.

If you are a buyer, and are looking for a home here, let us know.  We can create a custom “Portal” for you within our MLS.  As new homes come on the market matching your search criteria, you will receive an email link to the MLS information on those homes.  As a buyer in a seller’s market, acting swiftly when you see that “perfect home” is very important, as listings can come on the market today, and be sold tomorrow.

Business Remains Brisk Here in the Valley

It has certainly been a bit on the warm side, both weather-wise and business-wise here in Maggie Valley.  Visitor counts are definitely up, as the plank sidewalk in front of our office seems to have a continual flow of shoppers.  It has been extremely warm in other areas of the state and in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  I would surmise that many of our visitors are escaping the extreme heat at home.

If you didn’t already know, Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park and Village has been under contract for a few months now.  It seems a group of investors are acquiring the property with plans to reopen Ghost Town.  This has been good news for Maggie Valley, as everyone here is convinced the reopening of Ghost Town will bring more visitors and tourists to the area, reminiscent of the “olden days”.

As I have indicated in previous posts, inventories of homes for sale have come down considerably, moving the market from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market.  Anytime inventories get tight, the old law of supply and demand seems to raise prices, and prices have definitely increased.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.  There were several fireworks shows here to celebrate the 4th, and the weather last evening was perfect for enjoying the fireworks.  If you haven’t been here for a while, come on up, and stop in to say “Hello” while you’re here.

Area Travel News

I thought I would do a PSA (Public Service Announcement) this time around.  Below are some travel updates from the Haywood County TDA.  I hope this helps a bit with your travel plans.  We will see you in the mountains!

NEWS
Frankies Italian Trattoria in Maggie Valley Closed June 14 – 26.

Chimney Rock State Park Reopened.
Check this website https://www.ncparks.gov/chimney-rock-state-park for park updates.  The Hickory Nut Falls Trail remains closed. The Park’s elevator is still under construction and out of service. Visitors will have to park in the Meadows and take a shuttle or hike the Four Seasons trail to the top of the Park.

Check Highway Updates at https://twitter.com/NCDOT_Westmtn?lang=en https://twitter.com/NCDOT_I40?lang=en https://twitter.com/NCDOT_Asheville?lang=en 

Paving project to begin on the Blue Ridge Parkway that will affect Haywood County. 

  • Check the Parkway’s Real Time Road Map for regularly updated work zone information.
  • Expect delays while work takes place Monday through Friday. Lane closures will be managed with flagging operations and a pilot car to lead traffic through work zones.
  • Observe reduced speed limits in work zones, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; to allow for proper curing of pavement.
  • Anticipate loose gravel on the road surface during the cure time for the pavement. 
  • Bicyclists and motorcyclists are asked to exercise extreme caution as loose gravel on top of the paved surface, during the required curing time, could result in loss of control. 
  • When circumstances prevent bicyclists from keeping up with traffic, dismount and move off of the road to let the oncoming traffic pass when traveling through a single lane closure.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park: Temporary Closures and Construction Projects
Follow road status at https://twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or subscribe to receive text message updates by texting “follow smokiesroadsnps” to 40404.

  • Clingmans Dome Tower reopens June 15
  • Newfound Gap Road, Laurel Creek Road, Townsend Entrance Road, Tremont Road – Single lane closures and traffic delays for paving project weekdays March 12-June 16, 2018 and again August 16-September 20, 2018.
  • Foothills Parkway (unfinished section) – the entire unfinished section between Walland and Wears Valley is now closed to all public use until 2018 due to construction.

Cave and Mine Shaft Closure

  • Entry into all caves and mine shafts is prohibited due to concerns about the spread of white nose syndrome among bats.

 

How Does a Market Change So Quickly?

I was talking with another Realtor today about our local real estate market.  It seems like only a few short months ago it was a buyers’ market.  In other words, a buyer could safely assume that they could make an offer on a home 10 or 12 percent under the listing price, and not offend the seller.  Some homes were even sold with steeper discounts than 12 percent.  In that market we had more sellers offering their homes for sale than we had buyers.  Sellers were forced to take a little less than market price for their home, or risk the buyer just moving on and making an offer on another home.

Today we are definitely in a sellers’ market.  The inventory of homes on the market has come way down, but we still have a good supply of buyers wanting to purchase homes.  Now it’s the buyer who must step up to the plate.  Especially in the under $400,000 market, our supply of homes is getting tight.  We have had buyers make offers on homes only to discover the home is already under contract, or if not under contract, there are other offers on the same home.

I just ran the numbers in MLS.  In Haywood County, we have only 347 homes on the market priced $400,000 and under.  In the last 31 days, 82 homes in this price range have sold in Haywood County.  That means we only have a 4.23 month supply of homes for sale in this price range.  3 years ago, we had almost a 3 year, or 36 month supply of homes on the market.

Ultimately, real estate is a supply and demand market.  We have the demand, but not the supply.  This has led to an increase in home prices.  Also driving the consumer demand is interest rates.  According to the Federal Reserve, we may have 2 or 3 more increases in the prime rate this year.  Buyers are anxious to lock in lower rates, knowing the longer they wait, the higher the interest rates, and in turn, the higher their house payments.

So what does all this mean?  If you are considering buying, do it quickly!  If you are considering selling, it’s a great time to do so.

Come on down, we’ll leave the open sign on for you.

More From “The Art of Downsizing”

Your Garage Might Be a
Gold Mine

Don’t retire yet. You won’t be able to plan a trip to Tahiti with your profits, but you might make enough to go for a weekend getaway or help pay the bills. You’ve probably been thinking about what you are going to do with those old train cars of Dad’s you’ve been thinking you would set up someday but never got around to. You may be thinking if you hold on to them a little longer they’ll get more valuable. Probably not.

Don’t Think You Have Anything to Sell? Think Again

  • Phones, tablets, laptops
  • Women’s shoes and handbags
  • Vintage toys and games
  • 1950’s and 60’s costume jewelry
  • Name brand watches
  • Guitars
  • Video games and consoles
  • Small collectible items that are easy to ship
  • Antique liquor and wine
  • Mid Century modern appliances and electronics
  • Vintage posters and ephemera

Harness the Potential For Huge Selling Power

An estimated 1.5 million individuals sell their unwanted items on Ebay to help supplement their income.  Are you ready to start selling? Don’t have time or desire to do it yourself? Art of Downsizing is  here to help you. Our staff is here to make sure your selling goes smoothly. We work with you on a sliding scale commission basis depending on selling price. We have 100% feedback on Ebay and have been selling since 1999.  Contact Us if we can help. We’ll let you know if your items have any real value or not and arrange for pickup or delivery.

If Ebay is not the right platform for your item, we have several others to choose from such as Estatesales.org and Artspace. We also can incorporate some or all of your unwanted treasures into one of our upcoming estate sales.

What Is My Item Worth?

Use  Ebay’s Appraisal Tool to see the value of items bought and sold in specific categories to determine if you may have something of value. Of course you must also take into account the condition and number of similar items currently selling.

Selling Sounds Easy, But How Do I Get Paid?

Once your item sells on eBay, all payments to you from buyers are safely and securely handled by PayPal for an additional fee (about 3%). If you’ve got an account, great! Just link it to your listing and your buyer will send the money to this account. Be patient, because it may take a little time for your buyer to send payment after purchase. If you don’t have a Paypal account yet, it’s easy to set one up. Paypal Sign Up. Recently there have been changes announced that indicate Ebay is phasing in a new payment processing company Adyen.com to be in effect by 2021. Don’t let this deter you.

Okay, I Think I Might Have Some Gold Nuggets

You can always try to list your items yourself to see how it goes. Many people find navigating the shipping costs, dealing with returns, keeping up on Ebay policies and changes and taking up the extra space in their home with storing sellables and packing material is just not what they want. That’s a good time to head out to the gold course and let us do the selling for you.

by Michelle Munson (michelle@downsizewnc.com)

 

More From “The Art of Downsizing”

Downsizing? Ditch These 10 Items

It’s just stuff! Maybe so, but sorting through it all and quieting the emotions that downsizing stirs up is difficult—whether you’re going through your own or your parents’ home. This indispensable workbook provides valuable advice and how-to checklists along with a place to reflect, record, and retain an important piece of family history, even as you let go.
1. Clothes: If your wardrobe has outgrown your closet and dresser, start by purging enough pieces so that everything will fit. Get rid of unwanted clothing at yard sales or online, or by donating items to charity.
2. Anything in Off-Site Storage: According to the Self Storage Association, there are about 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. That’s more than five times the number of Starbucks! Vow to eliminate storage fees by getting rid of enough stuff so that all your possessions fit in your own home.
3. Exercise Equipment: If the exercise bike or treadmill in your bedroom has morphed into a permanent clothes rack, donate it to a local thrift store or charity.
4. Kitchen Appliances and Gadgets: Ask yourself: “When was the last time I plugged that in?” If it’s    been more than six months since you’ve used the waffle iron or bread maker, it’s probably time to find that appliance a new home. While you’re in the kitchen, eliminate unused culinary gadgets and non matching tableware.
5. Car: Besides downsizing your home and eliminating debt, getting rid of one — or all — of your vehicles could result in the greatest savings. According to AAA, it currently costs an average of $8,558 annually to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. if you factor in all the costs, including depreciation. If you’re a two-car family, getting rid of one set of wheels might make sense once one or both partners are no longer working. You might be able to get by with public transportation or a car-share program, or at least downgrade to less-expensive vehicles. If you’re planning to relocate in retirement, there are communities where owning a car may not be necessary.
6. Childhood Memorabilia: If your kids or other family members don’t want keepsakes from their own childhood (or yours) now, they’re not going to want them when you’re gone. Hold on to a few precious, symbolic mementos — those that truly spark memories and joy — and digitize images of the other things.
7. Furniture: Filling — and too often, overfilling — a room with furniture is a common tendency. Doing so makes the room seem smaller and gives you more places to store and display more stuff. Start by eliminating a couple of pieces from a room and see how much more spacious it feels.
8. Books, Magazines, DVDs: Unless a book has sentimental value or you’re going to read it again, put it back into circulation via a yard sale or thrift store so that others can enjoy it. Or donate it to your library, where you can always get free access to books, CDs and DVDs. You can store countless e-books (many are available for free) on an e-reader that’s smaller than a single print volume, and you can easily digitize your music and movie collections.
9. Files: Consumer Reports advises organizing your important files into four categories: “papers that you need to keep for the calendar year or less; ones that can be destroyed when you no longer own the items they cover; tax records, which you should save for seven years; and papers to keep indefinitely.” You can access copies of many documents (e.g., bills, bank statements, user manuals, etc.) via online accounts. Consider storing digitized documents on a Web-based storage service or an external drive.
10. Decorations: While holiday decor has some sentimental value, consider getting rid of the decorations you haven’t used in the past five years, particularly bulkier items such as outdoor decorations and holiday tableware you use just once a year.
By Michelle Munson     
https://downsizewnc.com/

 

Homes for Sale Inventories are Low

Today is April 16th and I am sitting here in the office watching the snow fall.  It’s too warm to stick here in Maggie Valley, but I have seen cars with about 2 inches on them.  The higher elevations, above 4000 ft. must have gotten a late season snow fall this morning.  According to the weatherman, we should have temperatures in the mid 70’s later this week.  If you don’t like the weather here in the mountains….. just stick around.

During the downturn in our economy the last few years, sales of homes dropped off which caused inventories to rise.  I remember running the numbers each month and having from a 33 to 36 month inventory of homes on the market here in the county, based on monthly sales.  I ran numbers this morning.  We have approximately a 6 month inventory of homes for sale based on sales the last 30 days.   I have watched our market switch from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.  A short time ago, a buyer could make a fairly low offer on a property and negotiate a good discount.  Now with a seller’s market, most homes are selling very close to the listed price.  Some homes even sell above the list price when there are multiple offers on the same home.

In the Asheville area (Buncombe County) inventories are even tighter.  I ran the numbers for Buncombe County and they have approximately a 4 month inventory of homes for sale based on sales the last 30 days.  My daughter saw a home in North Asheville that had come on the market as a “fixer-upper”.  She was interested in buying the home and fixing it up for a rental investment.  I called the listing agent and found the home already had multiple offers, some above the listing price.  The home had only been on the market for 3 days!

If you have a home here, and are considering selling your home, NOW is a great time.  Give us a call and we can do a Competitive Market Analysis on your home.  This will let you know what your home is worth based on similar homes that have recently sold in our area.

My Experience with Flying Squirrels

I don’t know if you have ever had that sinking feeling of lying in bed and hearing little creatures scurrying around in the attic.  Well, unfortunately, my wife and I recently experienced that feeling.  Flying squirrels are cute as they can be, but I didn’t want them in my attic.  So I called Terminix.  When most people hear Terminix, they think of exterminating termites, but Terminix does offer other services.  A wildlife specialist from Terminix called me, and made an appointment to assess the situation.  He looked at the vents, soffits and fascia boards all around the perimeter of my roof spotting possible entry points for the flying squirrels.  He found 4 points of possible ingress.  He then entered the attic and found signs of flying squirrels and of bats in the attic.  He informed me that if flying squirrels find their way inside, bats will often follow.

After a thorough examination, he quoted me a price to rid the attic of the flying squirrels and bats.  I asked how they convince those cute little flying squirrels to leave their new found home.  They actually apply drops of Fox urine to cotton balls, and place those cotton balls strategically around the attic.  It seems that flying squirrels want nothing to do with a Fox.  After the little critters are gone, they block entry with heavy screen wire, or flashing if necessary around all those points of entry.   Terminix provides a one year warranty against the squirrels returning, and an additional year warranty can be purchased.

After the flying squirrels are gone, and their return blocked, Terminix will clean the attic.  They will remove all the insulation, and vacuum the attic, then spray a disinfectant solution.  They will then blow in insulation that has been treated with boric acid.  It seems that no rodents, even mice, like boric acid.

I will do a follow-up blog and let everyone know how everything turns out after Terminix has finished the job.  Hopefully my flying squirrel issue will be history by then.

 

Estate Sales 101

This is another great article from Michelle Munson (michelle@downsizewnc.com) explaining how to organize a loved one’s estate for an estate sale.  Thanks to Michelle at The Art of Downsizing.

How to Liquidate an Estate, from Knickknacks to Furniture

When faced with a task you’ve never had to tackle before, it’s often best not to procrastinate because it’s likely going to take longer than you anticipate. A death in the family hits like a ton of bricks. And before you have time to properly mourn, you’re forced to learn how to liquidate an estate of a loved one.

With the compassionate team at Art of Downsizing on your side, you’re never alone in the process. When you begin to plan how to liquidate an estate, you must first know what exactly it is you’re selling. Removing or sequestering the things you know you want to keep and then nailing down a list of items you want to include in the sale eases your stress and keeps you organized. Once this is done, you can roll up your sleeves and start researching, tagging and pricing.

The Game Plan

The reality of any successful operation begins with extensive planning. Do you think the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 without a rock-solid plan for success from the start? Nope! Developing a plan of attack where everyone does his part is as essential to the success of an estate sale as it is for a football game. Believe it.

Arranging and staging items in highly specific categories may seem tedious in the moment, but it ultimately helps you organize a successful estate sale. For example, don’t simply create a section or room of furniture and collectables. Instead, group and display items according to categories, such as:

  • Outdoor summer furniture
  • Antique furniture
  • Hummel figurines
  • Baseball card collection

Divide and Conquer

One thing we always have to remind people is that it’s OK to ask for help. American culture really puts pressure on people to do things themselves, sometimes to the point of nervous breakdowns. When you are forced to learn how to liquidate an estate because there’s no one else in the family who has time to do it, don’t go it alone; not only will it be labor-intensive, but you’ll make mistakes as well.

Whether you choose to hire Art of Downsizing or rally up some willing friends and beg family to aid in the liquidation process, getting help is a positive move in every way. Use your strengths in organizing or in sales, and let others pick up where you lack the skills or expertise. There’s no shame in asking for help. Follow instead the rule of that great 60s band and “get by with a little help from your friends!”

Process of Elimination

The main facet of how to liquidate an estate is knowing when to compromise. It can come in the form of a haggler trying to whittle down the price of an item or settling debates between two family members who want the same keepsake. Because all of the pieces in your sale might not be high demand liquidation material, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

If there are certain “big ticket” pieces you want to sell first — like expensive furniture, china or jewelry — place those on your list of high priorities. Market them properly to your potential buyers so they understand you know the value. Consider holding the sale over two or three days with sequential discounts in order to entice buyers back who were hesitant to purchase on the first day. Offer a bid box for those who want to make an offer on an item in the case that it doesn’t sell.

Be sure to exhaust all your options. Develop back-up plans upon back-up plans. Focus less on things with low monetary value, especially if you don’t mind donating them. And bring in professionals when you just can’t do it alone or when you want someone else to take care of everything for you. Call Art of Downsizing at (828) 772-5959. We listen to your needs and make informed suggestions to help accomplish what you need done.

The Power of Pets

It seems that most of our clients and customers now own pets.  The infographic below is from the National Association of Realtors and it provides some useful information as to what pet owners are looking for in their community and also when they purchase a home.  Being a pet owner myself, I thought this information was useful.

Safety First - One Cool Thing