Monday, December 31, 2007

Myrtle Beach Real Estate Sales Statistics


Taken from the NAR 3rd quarter results, November 2007.

According to the SC Board of Realtors, here are the latest figures from sales of Myrtle Beach real estate, including the area of Little River to Georgetown, SC.

The first quarter of 2006 produced 2785 sales of homes and oceanfront condos. The same in 2007 was 1904. Sales were down 31.63%.

The second quarter of 2006 had sales of homes in Myrtle Beach at 3319. The same this year was 2737. Sales were down 28.50%.

Third quarter home sales in the beach area resulted in 2611 sales. 2007 had 1912. Sales were down 26.77%.

In actual numbers of sales of Myrtle Beach area real estate, October 06 produced 814 sales, as compared to October 07 and 649 sales. Down 20.27%.

The same in November resulted in 758 in 2006 to 546 in 2007, down 27.97%.

For the year, numbers of homes and condo sales in Myrtle Beach were at 10287 in 2006 to 7384 in 2007. Total reduction of 28.22%.

Prices for the two year comparison dropped 5.67%.

What you have to consider is that in 2005, SALES skyrocketed and prices went up as much as 200%. When you add that into the equation, the sales and the price reductions in Myrtle Beach property are of very little consequence.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Atlantic Beach "Leader" Makes the News


This is so ridiculous. It would be funnier if it didn't reflect on North Myrtle Beach because of the proximity. Everyone I showed it to was floored at her resemblance to James Brown...:-)

Arrested town councilwoman: I just needed a bathroom
By SEANNA ADCOX
Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. --
A town councilwoman on Friday accused a police officer who arrested her of using excessive force, and said she desperately needed a bathroom when she was instead charged with resisting arrest during a traffic stop.

Retha Pierce Sturdivant, 58, was pulled over Christmas night for swerving on U.S. Highway 17 near Myrtle Beach, causing other cars to do the same to avoid collisions, according to a police report. When stopped, the Atlantic Beach mayor-elect jumped out of her van, locked the doors and told the officer she needed to go to the bathroom.

She was charged with resisting arrest, reckless driving and failing to give a signal, police said.

The officer, Robert Dale, said in a police report that Sturdivant tried to flee and ignored his commands to stop. Dale said he grabbed and arrested her.

Sturdivant disputes swerving and that she was trying to run. She said she quickly got out of her van to try to make it to a nearby hotel bathroom.

"He hollered something really harshly. I said, 'I'm about to wet my clothes.' The next thing I knew, he slinged me across the car real hard," she told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

Sturdivant, who was elected mayor by one vote last month, said she has a bladder problem.

"He actually hurt me when he pushed me up against the car. He jerked my arm behind me and put handcuffs on me too tight," she said. "It was turmoil and agony and confusion."

Horry County police have started an internal investigation, said Deputy Chief David Beaty. "She made some strong allegations against the officer," he said.

The officer remains on duty, Beaty said.

Sturdivant said she eventually wet her clothes and they had to be washed at the jail. At her request, she was taken to a hospital before being released the following day.

She said she still suffers from back and neck strain and swollen wrists.

Sturdivant said that when she told the officer she was a public official, he didn't care.

"It's not that I wanted preferential treatment or anything, but I thought that might help the situation if I let him know who I was," she said. "I said to him, 'I'm the mayor-elect of Atlantic Beach, I wouldn't do anything wrong.' He said, 'I don't care who you are.'"

Sturdivant was elected to town council last year. Her mayoral victory was challenged by the incumbent and town officials ordered a new election. Sturdivant is contesting that decision.

She would not say whether she would fight the criminal charges. She has scheduled a news conference Saturday at town hall.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas then and Christmas now...



If only Peace was a disease with which we could infect all the Arab nations....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

AFFORDABLE Myrtle Beach Condos

Cooled Seller's Market
Means a Super Deal for Buyers!


Want to know the most afforable condos to buy on the Grand Strand?
Visit http://www.c21theharrelsongroup.com/ and look these up!

Coral Beach Resort
Carolina Forest Condos
Little River Inn (listed as Little River Golf and Tennis)
Sea Mist Resort

Friday, December 07, 2007

Shame and Disgust on Horry County and Grand Strand

For once, I have run across something that makes me absolutely ASHAMED to live in Horry County, and even in Myrtle Beach because we are IN Horry County. There is not only no excuse for this, but it is so disgusting that the government ought to take it over immediately.

Republicans can complain all they want about Democrats wanting the feds to control everything...but this is a typical example of WHY the federal government (or Humane Society) should be controlling this type of thing.

I will say that in North Myrtle Beach, our animal shelter is wonderful. I am not sure about Myrtle Beach. But this makes me want to call in PETA and stage a release on the county shelter.
I am SO ANGRY!

Horry County shelter loses Director

Friday, Dec 07, 2007 - 05:39 PM

By Michelle Carolla
E-mail Biography
The Horry County Humane Society lost its Executive Director. The Board of Directors fired Cindy Ott, but declined to tell say why.

Humane Society President George Redman told News 13 they hope the transition won't interrupt operations.

The Carolina Forest Chronicle reported the shelter is operating at a 90-percent euthanasia rate. News 13 asked The Humane Society of the United States in DC how we compare to the rest of the country. They said rates average 75 percent or lower and that 90 percent is high.

Laura Bevan, Director of the Southeast Region of The Humane Society of the United States said, “We have received complaints about the Horry County animal shelter in the past. However, since the State of South Carolina does not regulate its animal shelters, any change to the shelter must come from within the county.

Redman said future plans for the shelter include increasing low-cost spaying and neutering, increasing adoptions and transporting animals to events to increase awareness of the shelter.

They also hope to open an adoption center on the south end of the strand and find ways to reduce euthanasia.

90 PERCENT KILL RATE??????????????????

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Smokers Get the Boot Again - In Real Estate Now

Trust California to start something like this...I'd be that much more challenged to smoke one way or the other...:-) When condos in Myrtle Beach start this, I'll be on the war-path. Thank god most beach condos have balconies.


Prometheus Real Estate Group Leads Trend Towards Non-smoking Apartments
Posted: 11/27/2007 12:00 AM

SAN MATEO, CA --
Award-winning Owner and Developer of Residential Property Takes Stand to Eliminate Fire and Health Dangers Caused by Smoking /PRNewswire/ --

Prometheus Real Estate Group has implemented a non-smoking policy for all its new multi-family development communities. The company is among the first leading apartment owners to implement the policy in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"100% of Prometheus' new development communities will be non-smoking in the future," said Rod Standard, Senior Vice President of Property Management Services. "We certainly hope that this trend will catch on and we will see widespread adoption of non-smoking policies."

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Prometheus Real Estate Group has implemented smoke-free communities at 550 Moreland, a new 430-unit multi-family project in Santa Clara and the Icon at Doyle and Icon at Park, 81 units in Emeryville. Also smoke-free is the new 123-unit luxury community 128 on State in Kirkland, Washington.

Opening smoke-free in late December is the new Portland, Oregon luxury apartment community, The Wyatt, owned by Sobrato development Co. and managed by Prometheus Real Estate Group. The Wyatt is a 245-unit building located in Portland's Pearl District.

The policy bans smoking inside apartment units and common areas, including balconies and patios, and within 25 feet of the building. Prospective residents must sign a no-smoking agreement upon leasing a unit and will be responsible for enforcing the policy within their apartments.

According to a recent U.S. Surgeon's Report, there are no safe levels of exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoke-free apartments also greatly lower the risk of fire and help minimize cleaning and maintenance costs with savings available to be passed on to residents. Smoke-free apartments also create a healthier environment for adults and children with chronic illnesses such as asthma or lung disease.

"The policy has been received very well by our residents," says Nancy Whelan, Director of Property Management Services for Prometheus in Northern California, "It is something people want and view as a positive for their community and the larger environment as a whole."

For existing multi-family communities, the policy will be implemented building by building with consideration for residents who have already signed a lease without the non-smoking provision. Non-smoking policies will eventually affect new leases for existing properties with the timeline for phase-in determined by each owner and local market demand.

According to the The Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing, a California Department of Health Services project of the American Lung Association of California:

-- 40% of California's housing stock is composed of multi-unit residences according to the 2000 Census.
-- 70% of apartment residents support non-smoking sections in apartment buildings.

About Prometheus Estate GroupPrometheus is the largest private owner of multi-family communities in the San Francisco Bay Area with more than 18,000 housing units planned or underway in California and the Pacific Northwest. Prometheus Real Estate Group specializes in the acquisition, development and management of high quality residential and commercial properties.

For more information visit http://www.prometheusreg.com/ and http://www.californialung.org/.
CONTACT: Rod Standard, Senior Vice President of Prometheus Real Estate Group,
+1-650-931-3436,
rstandard@prometheusreg.com

Compiled by Myrtle Beach Web Design

Monday, November 26, 2007

Real Estate Values from Forbes?

Undervalued Markets?? Wow! Come to Myrtle Beach!

Forbes magazine has identified five cities where the economy is roaring but home prices are still moderate. MODERATE? By whose standards, I wonder?

You can buy one of the finest 2-3 bedroom Myrtle Beach oceanfront condos around for under a half million...WELL under, in many cases. I would say the average brand new North Myrtle Beach home about 3 blocks from the ocean will run less than $400K. Granted you aren't going to get a huge lot for that price...but who cares when you can walk to the beach?

Anyway, here is what Forbes considers a great bargain...


Charlotte, N.C.-Forbes says this is one of the cheapest markets in the country on a per-square-foot basis. It is a career hub, and the market is still strong there...but it's not a "pretty" place to live. Not unless you can afford to be on Lake Norman. And that is probably a good bit more than what Forbes says a typical four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home on a quarter of an acre is selling for - about $550,000. Not my idea of living in paradise.

San Francisco-The technology and biotech sectors of the economy in the Bay Area continue to grow and there is no build up of housing inventory here. A typical four- bedroom, two-bath home sells for about $800,000. Now they have beauty...but all those HILLS! And if you are morally objectional to alternate sexual lifestyles, this won't be your favorite place...:-)

Seattle-
Seattle missed the condo boom because multi-family residential construction was slow in Seattle in 2002 and 2003. Now, Seattle condo real estate values are climbing at the fastest pace of any condo market in the country, according to Radar Logic, a real estate research firm. An attractive two-bedroom, two-bath, downtown condo property with panoramic views of city and Elliott Bay is selling for about $1 million. Now...let's take into consideration that you will spend over half the year enjoying rainy weather. And the winters are brutal. And I swear, I read somewhere many years ago that something like 80% of all the serial killers that are known are from Seattle!

Boston-The housing market in the trendy Back Bay has slowed, while Boston’s downtown and waterfront areas are attracting buyers interested in living near its booming tech businesses.
A one-bedroom, one-bath condo with a view of Boston Harbor sells for less than $650,000.
One bedroom for $600K???? Yikes! And I'm not sure about this, but it seems like I remember hearing the crime rate in Boston is nothing to twirl a switchblade at. And those cold winters??


New York City-
Donald Trump was recently on the Larry King Live show...and Trump elaborated on how Manhattan is in a world of its own as far as the real estate market is concerned. He says it's hotter than a firecracker right now. Forbes says a condo in a pre-World War I building with two bedrooms and one bath in the Financial District is selling for about $750,000. OUCH. But I guess if you enjoy a place like New York, and you have to work there, that's pretty good news. I guess...

Now, how about the closest thing to Paradise if you don't count Florida and some of the Caribbean Islands? Myrtle Beach is the place, compared to what I've read above. Our market is slow right now...all the better for a smart buyer! But you can have a luxury oceanfront penthouse in the fanciest Myrtle Beach resort for about the same price as that 2 bedroom yucky building that overlooks a dirty sidewalk in New York.

You can wake every morning to the salt air and the seagulls calling, too. Granted we don't have the nearby techo-jobs that pay in the 6 figure ballpark. But our cost of living is less. And there are plenty of jobs if you've a mind to look.

And if you can't afford a half million dollars, find a nice 3 bedroom home 3 or 4 rows off the boulevard and move in for around $300,000. Move out a mile from the beach and get a beautiful golf course condo from $100K to $250K. Look hard and you can find a one bedroom around for under a hundred thousand.

Our winters are mild. Our summers are HOT. Our springs and falls are heavenly. I think we've got attractions that rival anywhere except maybe downtown Manhattan.

Maybe the Forbes people need to pay us a visit!

Source of figures: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (11/13/2007), and Realtor.org (11/26/2007).
Opinion by Myrtle Beach Web Design

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Myrtle Beach Golf Season Thrives With Condo Rentals and Entertainment

With golf being one of its biggest attractions, vacationers are enjoying an endless supply of new and renovated condominiums and resorts that offer Myrtle Beach golf packages. Condolux Vacations of North Myrtle Beach takes the season in stride, with the best choice of vacation condo rentals ever offered along the Strand.

Myrtle Beach, SC (PRWEB) November 17, 2007 -- In spite of cooler weather, Myrtle Beach, and for golfers, North Myrtle Beach, continues to draw thousands of vacationers daily. The two towns are definitely taking strides to encourage and accommodate the more discriminating tourism market that has developed from the recent condo boom. The higher priced restaurants are popping up everywhere, and the days of "all-you-can-eat", all-fried, seafood and cheap country buffets are finding their biggest competitors are the smaller portion gourmet restaurants such as Bonefish Grill and Carrabbas.

Likewise, the resorts are first class, offering fine amenities that rival anything Miami or Tampa, Florida might present. North Myrtle Beach has some of the most luxurious accommodations in the area, from the grand new Prince Resort in Cherry Grove to its traditional upscale condominiums such as Bay Watch Resort, The Ashworth, Avista Resort, and even the new Barefoot Resort ... which is built around its legendary Greg Norman golf courses. Intracoastal Waterway resorts such as Barefoot are in the horizon to become as popular as oceanfront condos as well.

Condolux of North Myrtle Beach, in conjunction with NorthMyrtleBeachGolf.com has become the premiere source of Myrtle Beach golf packages destinations, offering the biggest choice of luxury condos and golf courses anywhere. With over 90 courses available, and reduced prices on golf packages for 2008, golfers can enjoy some of the biggest savings ever offered in vacation and golfing combinations.

Barefoot Resort

Aside from the extravagant Barefoot and Prince Resorts, Condolux golf packages now offer new resorts that include:Malibu Pointe in Crescent Beach, NMB -- a beautiful ocean view mid-rise, with spacious 3 and 4 bedroom villas that are perfect for golfing groups that want to share costs.

Bayview Resort in Myrtle Beach -- one of the most popular new oceanfront resorts for 2007. Bayview's central location at 5th Ave and Ocean Boulevard make it convenient to all of Myrtle Beach's restaurants and shopping ... from Broadway at the Beach to the Carolina Opry.

The Caribbean Resort in Myrtle Beach -- Already one of the biggest and best in Myrtle, the Caribbean has undergone an eight million dollar renovation, and has to be one of the finest resorts around, with unmatched water amenities and its next-door location to the Sea Captain's House, historically one of the absolute favorite seafood restaurants in the entire Grand Strand.

To compliment the finest accommodations anywhere, Condolux has special custom golf packages at the lowest rates to be found -- with golf, room, and maid service starting at $299 per golfer. There are even no surcharges on many of the courses with lower PM rounds.

While most resorts include indoor heated pools, lazy rivers, jacuzzis and fitness rooms, those who like a more private setting can enjoy one of Condolux's large luxury Myrtle Beach beach houses. Larger groups in particular can find tremendous savings and all the convenience of home in any of the beautiful oceanfront and ocean view houses that include golfing packages.

Visit the Condolux website to see photos and view the accommodations, and the all-new North Myrtle Beach Golf.com for package specials and golf course details.
Leave the snow and ice behind and take a Myrtle Beach vacation for your retreat this winter or spring!

Condolux Beach and Golf Vacations of North Myrtle Beach
1610 Hwy 17 North
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
Toll Free 1-800-624-6418

Monday, November 05, 2007

Whistler Accommodations Website Review

Here is another Review-Me Review of a really good website!

Aloha Whistler Accommodations

Having never been to Canada, I am not familiar with British Columbia, or the Whistler Village at Whistler Blackcomb Mountains. I found exploring this website to be quite interesting, and if I were looking for a new place to go for a ski vacation, the site is certainly a great place to go.

The Aloha Whistler describes itself as follows, on the very informative About Us page...
Celebrating 27 years managing signature Whistler homes and providing memorable
vacations, we are a family owned and operated full-service property management
company. At Aloha Whistler, we are happy with nothing less than the best vacation experience for our guests, and worry-free management for our homeowners.
That would inspire me to feel as though they were a very legitimate accommodations provider, and took pride in their services and customer satisfaction. From here, I would further explore the website to see what types of properties they offer and how they look.

Accommodations
Aloha offers luxury homes, condos, and townhouses at the ski resort, and has an excellent search and browse feature that is perfect for scanning to find the type of place you are looking for.

Whistler Accommodations Search

In the top navigation of each page, you can choose by type of accommodation, Condos, Houses, etc, or on this main page above, you can glance over photos and choose by the location and name of the place you'd like to stay. When you follow the link in each thumbnail, you get a detailed page on the resort, with listed amenities, great photos of exterior and interior rooms, a map, and even a virtual tour. Definately all you could ask for can be found in the great descriptions this website offers of its luxury properties.

There are actual HOMES that are as splendid as any chateau found in the best ski resorts anywhere. They include fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs, fabulous scenic vistas to enjoy with huge windows, and bedrooms from 3 to 7 or 8.

Whistler Resort Homes

Is this impressive, or what?

Equally so, are the luxury condos and townhouses with the same excellent amenities, but providing more of a vacation or hotel ambiance.

Whistler Resort Condos

Area Information
Aside from the detailed accommodations listings, the Aloha website offers a great informational page on the Whistler area, listing news and events, travel information such as directions and maps, conference facility information, recreational activities, and services such as catering, child care, and the like. In short, the website will teach you just about all you need to know about planning a vacation in the Whisler Village.

The website itself is easy on the eyes, easy to navigate, and very pleasing to travel on from page to page. Fabulous photos and videos await the potential vacationer, and it's just plain FUN to visit and learn all about the location and the accommodations! As much as I prefer the warm beaches and have never been snow ski-ing, it actually makes me consider taking a winter vacation trip!

In summary, this is a great website to use in planning a ski trip, and I consider it a valuable tool for anyone who might like to visit this beautiful part of Canada. As hotels become less and less popular, and vacationers choose to stay in a beautiful home or condo instead, these types of accommodations are the preferred choice. It is VERY necessary to choose your location carefully, and websites such as this are the best way to research.

Again, the site is located at http://www.alohawhistler.com/
A great vacation site to visit!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Forbes Announces Worst Real Estate Markets

A new article came out today in Forbes Magazine (.com) about how the real estate market is going to continue to decline approximately another year, and listed the 10 worst places for price decline and buyer slowdown. As expected, Florida and California were the worst, with Las Vegas going right along as well.

Thankfully, they didn't find Myrtle Beach real estate worthy of mention. However, the market here is about as slow as it's ever been. Although interest is still steady, it appears buyers and investors are determined to wait and hope to find the lowest possible price before they buy. This is a repeat of the same mindset that prevented half of them from realizing the huge profits of the condo blast in 2005. By the time they finally decided to move, it was too late in the game, and either the project ended up being scrapped, or it did finish, but after the slowdown...leaving them holding on to an overpriced resort condo that they will have to bite the bullet and hold awhile until the market heats back up again.

Fortunately, with our huge vacation market and the well established condo management companies we have in Myrtle Beach, owners will always be able to make up a large part of their expense from rental income. I checked around in Florida over the last year or so, and they have very few good condo management companies like our excellent Condolux and Condo-World vacation rental companies.

Myrtle Beach golf packages are also a big advantage for obtaining rental income for owners. Even though several of our golf courses thought they were better off to close and try to get into the condo craze, we still a huge number of Championship golf courses which help to provide rental income in the cooler months.

I think Myrtle Beach foreclosures are going to become the "meat" of our industry soon. I saw on CNN tonight that one out of every 550 (rental) homes end up in foreclosure, and even RENTERS are being affected, finding themselves evicted simply because of bank foreclosure. That would be a tough pill to swallow.

Anyway, here are the worst 10 according to Forbes, and data compiled by Moody's Economy.com, a Westchester, P.A.-based research firm.

Weakest U.S. Housing Markets
Matt Woolsey, 10.05.07, 12:00 PM ET

1. Detroit
Median home sale price: $144,600

Annual price change from 2006: -7.1%

Projected price change to 2008: -9.08%Other than the Gulf Coast, Michigan is the only state in which the local economy and jobs have shrunk over the last year. Economic forecasts for the coming year don't look good and the nation's highest projected delinquency rate won't help.


2. Chicago

Median home price: $396,800
Annual price change from 2006: -0.3%

Projected price change to 2008: -8.22The area's projected sales rate increase and tightening of unsold inventory are the result of sellers slashing prices to unload their homes.

3. Las Vegas
Median home price: $307,900
Annual price change from 2006: -3.6%

Projected price change to 2008: -9.11%Las Vegas' problems are largely the result of speculative buying and risky loans.

4. Los AngelesMedian home price: $593,000
Annual price change from 2006: 2.9%

Projected price change to 2008: -4.05%
Three consecutive quarters of price growth have masked many of L.A.'s credit and sales rate problems. Based on the area's faltering sales rate, buyers are willing to sit on the sidelines until the market sorts itself out.

5. Sacramento, Calif.
Median home price: $356,500
Annual price change from 2006: -6.3%

Projected price change to 2008: -7.9%
Sacramento was a hotbed of speculation at the tail end of the housing boom. Now there are simply too many unsold homes on the market and sellers looking to unload property are stuck in one of the nation's strongest buyers' markets.

6. Phoenix
Median home price: $264,800
Annual price change from 2006: -2.7%

Projected price change to 2008: -7.8%The Phoenix market has overexpanded. Its projected sales rate and housing turnover rate are in the middle of the pack nationally, but that isn't enough to overcome the area's bloated inventory and lack of buyers.


7. Orlando, Fla. (*originally combined with Ft Lauderdale)Projected price change to 2008: -8.03%South Florida's housing market continues to drag on the local economy. Orlando's projected sales rate is much higher than other South Florida cities and therefore is likely closer to a price trough.

8. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Median home price: $384,400*

Annual price change from 2006: 2.0%*

Projected price change to 2008: -4.05%Like Miami, Fort Lauderdale had a high share of second home buyers and speculators looking to flip properties and using risky loans for financing. The market has to experience significant correction before it can bounce back.


9. Tampa, Fla.
Median home price: $222,700
Annual price change from 2006: -3.8%

Projected price change to 2008: -5.5%
As late as 2005, nearly a quarter of the buyers in the Tampa market could be considered investors, according to Moody's Economy.com. A high share of investors means that when things go sour, prices decline quickly as they attempt to flee.

 



10. Miami
Median home price: $384,400
Annual price change from 2006: 2.0%

Projected price change to 2008: -3.7%A perfect example of how much more to a market there is than short-term price growth. Miami values have increased over the last year, but the lending situation is a mess.2. Riverside, Calif.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Myrtle Beach Real Estate Auction Tomorrow!!! (9/29)

Again for the real estate agents and investors out there!

This posting is no longer valid.
Tomorrow is the big day for our 55 plus parcel real estate auction.

I'm sure most people aren't able to come if you haven't already made plans, but they have also contracted with a website called www.bidspotter.com to run the auction online as well. I see they have 37 of the properties listed on there right now if you want to look them over or participate.

We've got more than 600 buyers signed up and over 55 properties, so it's going to be one HUGE auction. I did also hear that the guys sponsoring it have visited almost all of the properties and would only accept the ones that are being offered at or below appraisal (low ball) price. They got picky towards the end because we had too many sellers wanting to sign up.

We will probably have another one fairly soon because there were so many more that wanted to sell than we had room for, so be sure and keep it in mind.
Myrtle Beach Foreclosure Homes
Real Estate Marketing

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Las Vegas Home Sales News - Fall 2007


Prices may be down a bit from recent all time highs, but in Las Vegas homes are still selling despite media forecasts of gloom and doom. A one day sales record for percentage of units sold was set in Las Vegas earlier this summer when 229 of the 296 available units were put under contract at Verge, a downtown mid rise development with prices starting in the mid $100s being marketed by Prudential Americana Group Realtors.

The Prudential High Rise Division also set the all time Las Vegas sales record for number of units sold a couple of years ago with the Cosmopolitan project when over 900 units were sold in one day.
Historically, the Las Vegas real estate market has never reacted like national "experts" have predicted. While nearby California has faced dramatic swings both up and down in pricing, Las Vegas has maintained a sustained growth even in the face of national recessions.

Currently multi-family investors have become very interested in the Las Vegas market because supply - due to condo conversions and demolition for redevelopment and population growth - has not been keeping up with demand for the last three or four years, creating a ripe market.

As a result, occupancies are running in the high 90% range and rents are rising at a 4% annual clip, a trend that is expected to sustain itself given subprime mortgage meltdown and the fact that while supply is catching up with current demand, it is not catching up with the backlog from previous years.


During the past two years new construction permits are down by almost 30% and new home inventory has finally stabilized. And more than 7,000 people per month are still moving in to Las Vegas attracted by employment opportunities.

An anticipated labor shortage is predicted to make its presence felt in 2008 as many of the high rise properties currently under construction begin opening their doors and hiring full time workers.

"Nevada's job growth has been running three to four times the national average in the past several years," said Terry Johnson, Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation director. "Businesses are adding jobs at a staggering rate."

The construction industry alone is expected to grow by about 10,000 jobs in 2007.

For now, there has never been a better time to buy, as there are more Las Vegas homes for sale currently than at any time in recent history. But it seems perhaps the bottom has been reached and things could shift dramatically by as early as next summer.
###
Diann Tonnesen and her team of Realtors have been selling real estate in Las Vegas since 1983, and joined Prudential Americana in 2005, after 22 years with Century 21. During the C21 years, the team placed in the national top 20, as well as ranking number ONE in the state of Nevada for sales. In less than a year of being with Prudential, Diann was ranked in the top 10 in the US for total homes sold, out of more than 63,000 agents nationwide.


The Tonnesen team maintains 4 award-winning websites and are recognized as the premier internet specialists in Las Vegas. I've known Diann and her husband Glenn for more than 5 years now, and consider her the top realtor in the US. She knows Las Vegas inside and out.


Diann and Matt Cutts from Google at SEO Convention

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Real Estate Auction-Myrtle Beach, SC Sept 29th

There will be a huge real estate auction in Myrtle Beach, SC on Saturday, Sept 29 at the Marriott here. So far there are around 50 different homes, condos, oceanfront lots, waterway lots, and most other kinds of property signed up to sell. Many or most will be absolute.
The people that are signed up to sell are very, very motivated, and this will produce some very good deals for investors. They are also paying a 3% co-broke if realtors register a customer who buys something.

I'm getting ready to send out a mass email with details, and there there is a website that is in the middle of posting the properties right now.http://www.coastalauctioncompany.com/

My boss is a partner in this endeavor and their office is a total madhouse with interested people. This will really be something...so come to Myrtle Beach on Sept 29 and get in on the fun!

Myrtle Beach Web Design Inc

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Real Estate and Mortgage Market

A former colleague of mine, turned realtor, sent me this to post for him. Good stuff...

Mortgage Market Woes
By Bryan Pearl

We are expecting a new report on housing from NAR this month.
Most everyone has figured out we have been in an over-heated housing market for a long time. Are we in a melt-down? I have heard everything from complete economic crash, to mild correction, as the description for what we are going through.
I think it is partly both, and here is why.

We have become a society so focused on profit we see what appears to be wide swings. The stock market correction of 2000 took six years to come back to solid strong record-breaking years. We don’t really notice conditions until they are bad. Well, they are bad now. Some analysts are predicting a correction of upwards of 30% reduction in home values.

For mortgage and banking markets this is practically a meltdown. A good indicator is when the largest mortgage lender is talking bankruptcy. The mortgage industry has been practically giving mortgages to anyone who could sign their name on the dotted line, and that is bad business.
While all this money has been floating around freely everything has been good. Many consumers I have talked with are financed to the hilt buying new cars and taking vacations on the equity of their greatest investments. The money supply has dried up, and with it, will come an avalanche of foreclosures and bankruptcies. The savvy investor will also be there to help clean up this mess at the fire sale.

In June existing home sales fell 3.8% nationwide from almost 6 million units in May. It is the lowest since November five years ago. The greatest decline has been in the Northeast and in the West, with the least amount of decline in the South.

In June, houses did appreciate by 0.3% after several months of decline. Over all the housing numbers have improved slightly creating some hope for the industry. The real thing to watch is the regulating of the money supply. As bank standards tighten, they are trying to make themselves more stable. This requires tighter lending controls. The average person will not be able to get money out of their homes as they did just two months ago. The tighter money supply will slow down purchases and new construction projects.

Like all markets this one will return. This is no different than the stock market. There are winners and losers in every industry and investment. You can still make solid investments. The rental market will get stronger as we see foreclosures climb. You can get many of these properites for cheap prices.

Watch the markets and make wise investments. By watching the numbers closely you can begin to discern market direction. Be careful and make solid smart investments.
###

Bryan Pearl is an expert in Huntsville Alabama Real Estate.
He is with the second top producing company for Huntsville Homes for sale, Keller Williams Realty.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Los Angles Photographer Can Help Realtors Sell

Ed Carreon, Architectural Photographer
A friend of mine, Ed Carreon, has a couple of websites promoting his photography business, and

we conferred long ago about his search placement and such. At the time, I had suggested that he might consider getting a little more involved with building and architectural photography, since the real estate boom was going strong and I knew that my folks were always needing good photographers.

Ed and I talk frequently, and I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't really looked at his site in a while...just so much to do these days. And today for some reason I happened to end up on the page that he had made for this. To say that I was astounded would be understatement.

I know this guy is good. I've seen his work personally. He's even been the staff photographer at several of the PubCon conferences in Las Vegas for webmasters. But I've never seen these pictures before, and they are just AWESOME. If any of you real estate people are near Los Angeles, or even perhaps Las Vegas, you can probably sell your homes and commercial buildings just from his photographs.

I've done a little amateur picture taking for my Myrtle Beach condo guys, and I know how hard it is to get inside photos to reflect some of the beauty of luxury furnishings. But I guess that's why he's a PROFESSIONAL and I'm just a web marketer...:-)

I've put a couple of the photos here...but this doesn't do justice to the page. Do go and see what Ed can do, and if you need a photographer in the Los Angeles area, don't hesitate to find him.

He's worth every penny.


Ed Carreon Photography

Ed Carreon, Los Angeles Photographer Photos
Myrtle Beach Web Design

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Great Agent Information for selling condos

From Realty Times, excellent article.

What You Need To Know To Sell Condos
by Blanche Evans

If you're a Realtor who doesn't know much about the condos, now's the time to brush up on one of the housing market's perfect solutions for many homebuyers. Here's fresh information designed to blow away those myths and prejudices that are still hanging on about condos that you can use to improve your condo sales.

Condos aren't just small houses -- any more than children are tiny adults. While condos are a form of housing that rises and falls like any other, there are some distinct differences in how condos as a market should be viewed.

Condominiums are a type of home ownership in which homeowners own individual units of a building or property, such as an apartment within a high-rise, or a single-family townhome in a community. They also jointly own common parts of the property, such as the grounds, parking lot and the building itself, if the condo is in a building. Because of shared ownership and responsibility, condos are frequently managed by a property management company hired by the homeowners association. Homeowners pay dues, usually one to four times a year, to fund the upkeep of the building and grounds, and pay employees such as bellmen, porters, and guards. Dues include payment toward immediate expenses and escrows for future maintenance, such as roof replacement, so that owners can avoid expensive special assessments.

Condominiums are designed to provide multi-family housing in densely populated environments, such as cities and vacation spots where land is at a premium, but there are also other considerations -- changing attitudes among homebuyers as to what constitutes a good home.

People are choosing homes to suit their lifestyles. In seeking condos, homebuyers likely want low-maintenance beauty and peace of mind; access to amenities they perhaps couldn't afford on their own, such as pools, spas and clubrooms; stronger security, both manned and electronic; and a sense of community with other homeowners nearby to socialize with.

In the past, when home buyers were dominated by married couples with children, condos weren't the preferred product of choice for families, unless they were located in highly populated areas where families had no other choice in housing to own, or they were second homes or vacation homes where occupancy periods would be brief.

But what has many Realtors still skeptical about recommending them is the fact that speculators tend to favor them and rising rental rates threaten homeowners who find that banks won't loan money to homebuyers in buildings where there are too many rentals. Worse, when a housing market falls, condos tend to fall harder and faster in value than single-family homes, causing desperate owners to rent their units, thereby justifying lenders' and Realtors' worst fears that condos are a poor investment.

But things change. Condos set housing records for 10 years straight, before falling 10.4 percent in 2006 says the Commerce Department. That's nearly two percent more than the existing home market fell, which is a high percentage for approximately 12 to 13 percent of all housing transactions. The reason? Condos are simply more volatile, but that volatility can be turned to advantage by smart Realtors.

"When developers and converters dump huge stocks on the market at the same time that sales slow and investors pull out, naturally prices will fall -- but it's not an indicator of what the single family market will do," says Walt Molony, senior associate and spokesperson for the NAR.

Why? Homebuyer demographics are changing, no one's making any more land, and many homebuyers prefer multifamily home environments. That's why condominiums today are full of mythbusters. According to a recent study by the Mortgage Bankers Association, most condos are in single-family structures like townhomes, they're in the suburbs, not the city, and they're more than two thirds occupied by owners, not renters.

There's more. Consider the following:

In 2006, the number of married households fell below the 50 percent level to 48 percent, according to the U.S. Census, meaning more singles and non-traditional households are the majority of housing consumers.

Households are increasingly headed by singles. Young people are delaying marriage. The Census Bureau says that women today marry after age 26, while women in 1960 married at age 20. Half of marriages end in divorce.

Single women homebuyers make up nearly a quarter of the market, according to the National Association of Realtors, accounting for nearly 30 percent of total homeowner growth between 1994 and 2002, according to the Harvard Center for Joint Housing Studies in 2003.

Single females make up 42 percent of condo buyers. Single males make up 20 percent, while married couples constitute 30 percent of condo buyers.

The Tax Relief Act of 1997 has introduced unprecedented liquidity and mobility to the housing market, making it possible to own a home, occupy it for a minimum of two years, and move out in two years without taking a tax hit.

NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2006 says that condo buyers (median age: 43) are older than single-family home buyers (median age 41.) "The median age of condo buyers skews older because condos attract the bookends of the housing market -- first-time buyers, and empty-nesters (boomers) and retirees, who no longer need a large single family home but like lots of amenities in a simpler lifestyle," explains Molony.

Lenders have relaxed lending standards to allow younger and single homebuyers to buy homes by removing obstacles (such as differing credit standards for divorced women,) and creating a wide variety of adjustable or interest-only hybrids that don't penalize borrowers for short-term ownership. This has boosted the first-time homebuyer market as well as single female homebuyers.

Condominium buildings offer products not easily found in single-family homes, such as one-bedroom, one-bath configurations which appeal to singles and first-time homebuyers. "Among all condo buyers, the percentage of first-time buyers are highest among single-female households (59 compared to 48 percent among all condo buyers," says Molony.

One out of ten homeowners owns a second home, often a condominium in the city or a favorite vacation spot.

The tenure in condos is shorter (4 years in buildings with 5 or more units), while the median for detached single family homes is 6 years. Realtors who know this won't freak out when multiple units go up for sale in the same building.
All of the above suggest a strong market for condo sales, which is a good reason for Realtors to know as much as possible about them.

But no statistic speaks as loudly as this one to homebuyers growing preference for multifamily living:

"While the median price per square foot is highest for the condos ($169 compared to $118 for all homes purchased), median income of condo buyers is lower than the median income of all buyers ($59,100 vs. $71,800)," says Molony. "The price per square foot of condos is higher than single family homes because there is a concentration of condos in higher-cost housing markets. Within a given area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes -- with the exception of upscale units in urban cores."

Condos aren't always about buying something smaller that's cheaper. They're about choices.

Published: May 29, 2007
If you need condo insurance, visit http://www.condo-insurance.net/.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Central North Carolina Real Estate

My friend Lane Yates is a developer and real estate coach who lives in Cornelius, NC... a suburb of Charlotte on Lake Norman. His wife Sunisay, or Sunny, as her friends call her, is a Charlotte real estate agent, and both are excellent in their fields. Lane has developed a downtown area of Salisbury, NC, called Salisbury Village, and was quoted in the Salisbury Post newspaper. Being rather proud of him (my little brother...teehee) I thought I'd post the article and spread his fame just a little further...

Me, Lane Yates, Sunny Yates


Despite positive signs, local economy pales in comparison to others
Publication
Salisbury Post
Date: July 15, 2007


By Mark Wineka and Paris Goodnight

On paper -- the blueprints of developments yet to come -- Rowan County's retail future looks promising.

In Salisbury alone, two Charlotte developers continue to look seriously at building major retail centers. Local officials and businessmen claim the city finally could be on the brink of a commercial explosion.

"It's our time," says Lane Yates, a Rowan County native and developer who has made the busy Cornelius-Huntersville area his home base in recent years.

"Salisbury is due."
Past due would be a better way to put it.

In the past 10 years, while neighboring Cabarrus and Iredell counties have exploded commercially, Rowan County's retail growth has been underwhelming in comparison. Rowan County's rank in retail sales in the state has dropped from 20th to 28th since 1996-97, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue.

Between the 1996-97 and 2005-2006 fiscal years, Rowan County had retail sales growth of 6.5 percent, far below the state's overall retail growth of 42.5 percent. But the most telling numbers lie behind the retail development that has occurred in nearby Concord and Mooresville.
Cabarrus County's retail sales over the same 10-year period grew by 114 percent; Iredell's, by 82.1 percent. It's clear that Salisbury and Rowan County residents have contributed to the growing numbers in those counties.

Preston Mitchell, a senior planner for the city of Salisbury, calls it "leakage."

Rowan County shoppers are spending money in Concord and Mooresville and, beyond that, in Greensboro, Charlotte and Winston-Salem. But it suggests, Mitchell says, that additional retail in Salisbury would be supported by shoppers who are looking for more.

"There is leakage to these other cities simply because they have more to offer," Mitchell says.
The planner is quick to add that city officials are excited about retail developments on the drawing board and feel confident that Salisbury has attractive locations for retail and restaurant growth.

It's not that Salisbury's retail landscape hasn't changed in the past 10 years. Nationally recognized additions have included names such as Outback, Starbucks, Staples, Circuit City, Office Depot, Old Navy, Marshalls, Goody's, IHOP, Comfort Suites and O'Charley's. Numerous drugstores also have been built, including several new Walgreens and Eckerd locations.
Salisbury's downtown remains strong, and the Salisbury Mall and Innes Street Market -- two main retail centers -- continue to have high occupancy.

Belk and J.C. Penney anchor the mall, while Lowe's generates considerable traffic for Innes Street Market. Salisbury has a strong presence of new car dealerships and discounters such as Wal-Mart, K mart, Magic Mart and Big Lots.

Construction projects under way in Salisbury include a new Cracker Barrel next to Interstate 85, a strip retail center next to the Cracker Barrel and a new Gerry Wood Honda dealership on Jake Alexander Boulevard.

But still missing are names such as Target, Home Depot, Dick's Sporting Goods, Hecht's, Kohl's, Sam's Club, Best Buy, Olive Garden, Omega Sports, Farm Fresh, Red Lobster and others.

"I think we might be on the cusp of developing a lot more retail," says John Sofley, management services director for the city of Salisbury. "And most of the people I talk to would rather shop here."

Collett & Associates, a Charlotte retail developer, recently laid out its plans to partner with the Wallace family of Salisbury in building a 358,535-square-foot retail center at Julian and Klumac roads along I-85.

Collett & Associates typically seeks commitments from companies such as Home Depot and Lowes, Target, Belk, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, Dick's Sporting Goods and others. Its plans for the 45-acre tract in Salisbury call for a 130,000-square-foot home improvement store, a 68,000 sq ft department store and six other "major" tenants, not counting several outparcels.

Childress Klein Properties, a shopping center developer also based in Charlotte, has an option on 97 acres of Livingstone College property at Jake Alexander Boulevard and Brenner Avenue.

Key tenants in Childress Klein's other retail developments have included Target, Home Depot, Stein Mart and several different grocery stores. (Its tenant list at Afton Ridge in Kannapolis has included a SuperTarget, Best Buy, Marshalls, Ashley Furniture, Dick's Sporting Goods and Lane Bryant.)

A spokesman for Childress Klein Properties told the Post earlier this year that the Livingstone College property offers enough acreage for a regional type project. To date, the company has made a thorough traffic study of the area as part of its planning process.

Yates, who is developing the mixed retail-office-residential Salisbury Village off Jake Alexander Boulevard, says it will be interesting to see where the chips fall between the two Charlotte developers.

But the end result will be a new wave of stores featuring national retailers, Yates predicts.
It can only help projects such as his, Yates adds. The Charlotte developers have a national book of clients they are going after, and those not drawn immediately to them may turn their attention to Salisbury Village, he says.

"I absolutely love it," Yates says. "Growth spurs growth. It just brings that much more awareness to the town and city."

Rowan County's taxable sales for the first quarter of the year were $67.8 million, according to figures from the N.C. Department of Revenue. That's part of a pattern over the past year that saw sales from the three previous quarters zig-zag from $59.3 million in the final quarter of 2006, $65.6 million from a quarter earlier and $57.9 million from the quarter before that. A year ago, taxable sales were $68.2 million.

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce provides a quarterly update for its members on such figures, which were called retail sales until the last report. That changed because some activity that isn't classified as retail still shows up as taxable.

The figures went down substantially last year when the Department of Revenue stopped tallying nontaxable sales, which would be from the service industry or fees to doctors or lawyers. Before that, Rowan's retail sales were up to $110 million in 2005.

Sofley, the city's chief financial officer, says retail sales in Salisbury have shown steady improvement since fiscal year 2004, when sales tax receipts were just more than $4 million.
For fiscal year 2007, the city has projected sales tax receipts of slightly more than $5 million and has budgeted sales tax revenues of $5.3 million for fiscal year 2008.

The growth has been steady, yes, but nothing that causes excitement.

"I'm happy that it's growing," Sofley says, "but if you look at local sales tax receipts for Rowan County compared to Iredell County or Cabarrus County, our numbers are definitely lower.
"We're not keeping up percentage-wise."

Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia in Charlotte, notes that retailers in general are seeing a split: high end ones are having much more success than the discounters. Because the discount stores like Wal-Mart are so price competitive, retail sales figures aren't going up as fast and in some cases may be falling because the stores can only make up so much in higher sales volumes.

Vitner says places seeing spikes in pricing are grocery stores and gas stations, which means people end up with less money to spend on items at retail stores. He noticed the last time he was coming to Salisbury that Rowan County had no Target, which he says appeals to a somewhat higher demographic.

"Salisbury is doing better now, but has gone through some lean years," Vitner says. "Charlotte is gradually getting there, but it's going to be a few more years."

He describes how traffic thins out just beyond Concord as he travels north to Raleigh, but he expects things such as the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis to have a noticeable effect once it's up and running.

"It's going to help a lot," Vitner says. "It's the best start of any research park in the country. It will have to spill over, people will be moving to High Rock Lake. ... It's just not going to happen instantly."

Dr. Jamie Slate, associate professor of economics at Catawba College, also noted in an e-mail the bright spot of the "nice multiplier effect from the biotech campus to come. Also, we are starting to see some NASCAR-related industry come into play, though the impact of that on sales will be minimal.

He says, "The retail-construction boom across the county line explains why numbers in Rowan lag a bit behind our neighbor. If I am living in Rowan and a brand new Dick's is basically across the line as well as a new Edwin Watts Golf at exit 49, I am more than likely going there for sporting goods and golf gear. My guess is that a portion of the increased retail rates in Cabarrus comes from Rowan citizens. That's a double whammy. We lose and they gain from us."

Slate also says the commuter pattern favors Cabarrus since more people are traveling from Rowan to Cabarrus. Vitner says Cabarrus saw the lion's share of growth coming from Charlotte in the 1990s, but he thinks even that has slowed somewhat.

Rowan County may be next in line for that kind of growth, with such drawing cards as the N.C. Transportation Museum, which has seen investment into it grow slowly but steadily over the years.

"Salisbury is a beautiful town," Vitner says. "The question is when -- some things can't be speeded up that much."

Rowan County's population numbers compared to those in Cabarrus and Iredell counties reflect what has been happening in retail sales. In 1990, Rowan County was considerably ahead of the other two counties in its number of residents. Rowan's population then was 110,605; Cabarrus, 98,935; and Iredell, 93,205.

But Cabarrus experienced a 32.4 percent population growth between 1990 and 2000 and has grown 20 percent more since then. Today Cabarrus' estimated population is 157,176, and Concord is more than double the size of Salisbury in population.

Iredell County grew by 31 percent between the 1990 and 2000 censuses and an additional 18.4 percent from 2000 to 2006. Iredell now has an estimated population of 145,232.

Rowan County grew only 3.2 percent between 2000 and 2006, and has an estimated population today of 134,538.

But Yates believes Salisbury's demographics will be noticed by retailers who have first gone to Concord and Mooresville. If those retail centers on the drawing board pan out, other growth will follow, Yates says.

"It's a monkey-see, monkey-do approach," he adds.

Bob Wright, president of the Chamber of Commerce, says activity is picking up, not just with announcements of developments going in but also in inquiries about the area. Many are from anonymous consultants working for others who are looking for spots ripe to develop along the I-85 or U.S. 70 corridors.

"There's an uptick in that," Wright says. "We hear around town encouraging signs."
He says one recent inquiry came from an out-of-state residential developer looking to put in a "massive investment," but he wanted more information on the retail development end first.
"I share facts about the potential here," Wright says.

The potential has always been there, but the reality is catching up, too.

"In my 12 years here, it's phenomenal," Wright says about the area on both sides of I-85 at Innes Street. "I compare it back then -- dilapidated, rundown buildings. Now look at it."

Wright says the payoff to come is from the money being put into infrastructure along the interstate with more lanes for traffic and sewer lines going in through a city-county partnership. He says other areas are envious of the amount of money being pumped into Rowan County's visible travel areas.

"I think you'll see all sorts of things along the interstate, not to mention along 70," Wright says.

Contact Paris Goodnight at 704-797-4255, or pgoodnight@ salisburypost.com
Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka@salisburypost.com.
###

Lane and Sunny are expanding their interests to include more luxury Lake Norman real estate now, as the market for that beautiful lakefront area has gone through the roof. Lane and Sunny live directly on the lake, and he tells me there is nowhere in the world he'd rather be...

Lake Norman Sunrise

Monday, July 16, 2007

Las Vegas Real Estate Looking Better

Las Vegas home sales are off by 40 percent, prices continue to fall and home builders have cut back on construction. PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. has called the city a “top at-risk market.”

With the inventory of homes for sale on the Multiple Listing Service climbing to a record 23,642 in June, certainly, the downturn has hurt real estate professionals in all areas.

“Experienced [real estate professionals] and mortgage officers are surviving, but those with less knowledge or a small network of contacts are leaving for a more steady paycheck," Robin Comacho of Direct Access Lending told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But not everyone thinks the sky is falling; Real estate consultant Steve Bottfeld scoffs at the notion that this slowdown is anything but temporary because the city is creating more jobs rapidly.

“What outside observers tend to miss – and sometimes even local analysts – is that this market is in the middle of a major transition. Things are changing and we think for the better," he says.

Other analysts agreed, saying Las Vegas' job creation will help create future demand for housing.
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

Real estate is slow everywhere right now, but the experienced agents who know their profession are still surviving...some quite well. It's not a marketplace for beginners or those whose hearts are not in it, though. Myrtle Beach is doing fairly well during the summer tourist season, but still tough for those who don't have the marketing - especially on the internet.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Beach Condos That Are Still Hot

I found this article about some particular beach condos in Maryland that are still selling great and making waves. Just goes to show how real estate trends are not iron-clad, and a good project will sell, regardless of the market.

Oddly, I found a big ZERO on Google about these condos, except for rental info and various realtors blurbs. Either they've made a website that can't be found in the search engines, or haven't made one at all. They would probably have sold out if they had invested in that small area of advertising...

Island's massive condo complex is taking shape
BY CERI LARSON DANES
Originally published June 2, 2007- Delmarva Daily Times

CHINCOTEAGUE -- There is something about an empty pool of glimmering turquoise on a hot and cloudless day that demands unforgiving restraint in the workaday world.

But this new blue pool, and the colorful condominiums that embrace it just over the bridge to the island here, shamelessly invite lazy summer days of hedonistic overindulgence.

Don't confuse the empty pool and parking lot with a notion that the new Sunset Bay condos aren't selling. In a good real-estate market, they'd rank as hotcakes.

But in a housing market that continues to report downturns across the country and locally, 31 of these waterfront, two-bedroom, two-bath units have sold -- actually closed -- since March 15.



In all, more than 40 of the 72 units, some still under construction, are under contract.
"It's very difficult to sell a product before you actually have it on the market," said Todd Burbage, who helps run the family business, Blue Water Development of West Ocean City, Md., with his father and founder, Jack Burbage, and brother, John.

Original plans called for 105 units in three phases, but the developers, who have partnered on this project with Freddie Obrecht of Obrecht-Phoenix in Hunt Valley, Md., aren't ready to say what comes after Phase 2.

They have focused on the first two sections since announcing the plans at a swank cocktail reception at Chincoteague Inn last April.

Plans for phase 3, on the restaurant site, are still on the drawing board, Burbage said this week.
The three-story buildings, which are easily seen rising from the waterfront to the south of the Chincoteague causeway while traveling to the island, evoke a sense of a close-knit row house or townhome community.

Varied architectural features add interest, while the range of colors suggests attached homes.
From bright coral, to sage green, butter, sand and grays in both misty and stormy shades, the evocative design features varied oversized doors and windows -- both casement and double-hung -- and standing seam rooftops alongside architectural shingle.

A buttery yellow section is topped in silver metal roofing with a row of dormers, easily suggesting an historic sea captain's home in a southeastern harbor town.

"We came down here and we loved the area and the flow of the buildings," Burbage said. "So we tried to include those architectural features into the buildings, so they didn't stick out like a sore thumb."

He points to a yellow shingle house adjacent to the condo entrance, calling it a "quintessential Chincoteague house," and noting the similarities. "It is supposed to flow together and be a part of the community, not separate," he said.

The place was built to last, too.
The plastic sheeting over the bulkheading carries a 50-year warranty. The marina was built by BIC, Inc., a local firm.

Jack Tarr did the electrical work and Thornton Services Inc. did the heating, ventilation and air conditioning. "I estimate that on any given day there can be up to 100 different people on the job," Burbage said. "We try to use as many local contractors and subs as we can."

The exterior siding -- some scalloped and some clapboard, common to Victorian vernacular Shore homes -- is James Hardie plank cement board. It, too, is a maintenance-free and long-lasting material that also gave the developers maximum flexibility with color.

Burbage pointed out the size of the elevator -- all of the units have exterior access only -- and its tile floors and mahogany walls. It's tall and oversized for homeowners who have never before experienced condo living and are intent on bringing their supersized furniture. It's a thoughtful touch.

The corners and trim of all the exterior walls are clad in long-lasting Azek, a composite that never rots, in bright white.

All the stairs and exterior details are also in bright white, imparting a lighthearted vacation appeal.

The decking around the pool and throughout is another rot-free composite material called Oasis and has been laid out in a series of diamond and diagonal patterns incorporating both a redwood color and a weathered gray.

The color is injected. "It never fades. It will outlast us," Burbage said. "It would be boring without it as a design element. It costs more, but it's worth it."

The concept is to offer everything low-maintenance, he said, so retirees and other homeowners don't have to do anything except enjoy the lifestyle.

Inside, each unit features a master bedroom with his-and-her closets and master bath, a second bedroom and hall bath, kitchen, dining area and living room, den and utility room. Each condo also includes an exterior locked storage area for beach and fishing gear.

Though similar in the basics, each unit comes with a long list of options and ranges in size from 1,650 to about 2,100 square feet. There are 12 different floor plans to choose from and prices go from $439,900 to $599,900.

Third floor units feature vaulted ceilings, and the rest of the ceilings on all floors are nine feet high. Every master bedroom includes a deck or patio with water views and oversized windows and doors, along with tray ceilings to further distinguish the space.

Master baths have separate whirlpool tubs, tiled, glass-enclosed showers and double vanities. As always, there's a host of choices in finishes.

Buyers can choose from cultured marble and granite countertops in the bath, among a host of other options for flooring, carpeting, fixtures, cabinets, hardware, appliances and other details throughout.

Kitchens open to the dining area and living room and incorporate the views through walls of glass. Most feature granite countertops, high-end cabinetry and a choice of appliances in white, black or stainless steel.

Back outside, a deck wraps around the entire complex. Residents can enjoy walking around the whole perimeter, taking in the pool, hot tub, waterfront, marina and condos. A covered promenade will connect the two housing sections and provide access from the parking area to the marina.

"The marina brings the community together," Burbage said. "It's a place to congregate and just be neighbors, the way it used to be. The way Chincoteague is. Everyone owns the water."

The sea of parking, though nicely landscaped like the rest of the property with a mix of crape myrtle, juniper, arborvitae, potted palms and other plantings, remains an expanse with almost 300 spaces.

That's because the island has some strange and possibly antiquated parking rules that translate to up to five spaces coming with each unit.

Chincoteague requires 1.2 parking spaces per bedroom. Rounding up, that requires three per unit. Add the den as a bedroom and it goes to four. A slip for the boat also requires an extra space.

Burbage would prefer to have some wiggle room on the parking area. "If it were a perfect scenario, we'd like to spend the money to tear out the asphalt and landscape and -- owners have told us they'd like a pet area," he said. "It would be an enhancement to the community, not just Sunset Bay, but to the Chincoteague community."

He said they'd also like to be able to convert part of the oversized parking space to a barbecue area because grills are not allowed on patios or balconies. It's easy to see how a community picnic and grill area could contribute to the inherent neighborliness of the place.

Back at the pool a quiet Jacuzzi's waterfall sits outside a gym area with mirrored walls. They reflect the pool, ringed in blue tiles and bright blue and white mesh covers atop lounge chairs waiting for occupants.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Finding the Best Mortgage Solution

A friend of mine from across the pond asked for a bit of room to talk about his mortgage website, so I was happy to let him. For the Brits out there, (which I love...Davy Jones being the number one!) here is where you should go for information about financing your home!

Find the Best Mortgage Solution For You

When buying a home, you probably will need to get a mortgage. This will be the biggest financial decision you may ever make.

It is not easy to pick out the ideal mortgage. The task is further compounded these days by the sheer variety of mortgage options available in the financial markets.

So how should you go about finding that ideal mortgage?

The website, "1mortgagesuk.co.uk" provides information and advice on all types of mortgages, such as bad credit mortgage, a fixed-rate mortgage, buy to let mortgages, self-built mortgages, etc. An online enquiry form can give you an access to search from over 500 UK mortgage companies.

There is an online mortgage calculator available on the website. By using that calculator you can get a rough estimation on certain calculations to do with your mortgage.

There is also a section providing you information and an online enquiry form about getting a secured loan. A secured loan is a loan that utilizes the assets of the borrower to ensure repayment of the loan.

The loan market is filled with all kinds of great mortgages. Pick out the loan that suits you best.

At the end with the final conclusion, 1mortgagesuk.co.uk can provide you the best mortgage advice and a good enquiry to search for a mortgage and loan.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Condo News

This is a new one on me. Never heard of a Condop...have you?
I had to take a real estate course before I even understood what a co-op was...:-)

What Exactly Is a Condop?

By VIVIAN S. TOY
Published: May 20, 2007
New York Times

PEOPLE often wonder what exactly a condop is.

A common misconception is that it’s a co-op that operates with condominium rules. But lawyers say that legally a condop has nothing to do with whether a building requires a board interview or allows rentals.

“A co-op with condo rules is not a condop,” said Jeff Reich, a real estate lawyer. A true condop, he said, is a condominium building that has separate commercial and residential units, with the residential units controlled by a co-op corporation. The separate commercial units are typically retained or sold separately by the developer and can include retail space, office space and a parking garage.

Mr. Reich said that condops were first created in the early 1960s, when New Yorkers were still wary of the concept of residential condos, but developers wanted to divest the residential parts of their buildings while retaining or separately divesting the commercial parts. “It happened because traditionally this was a co-op town,” he said.

According to a survey of New York City apartment buildings commissioned by the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums in 2005, the city has roughly 6,700 co-op buildings, 2,300 condos and fewer than 300 condops.
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Editor's note: Do you know the difference between a condo and a co-op?
A condo has a deed just like a home. Its treated almost the same way except for some extra
things about commons areas and insurance.

A Co-op is actually a STOCK! The owners buy stock in the building instead of having deeds to the individual units...

Real Estate Marketing

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Website Review of My Moving Quote.com


I've accepted a ReviewMe.com job, reviewing a website about Moving Companies , MyMovingQuote.com.

This is a great clean, easy to use website that should very useful to anyone who wants to find a good moving company when relocating.

The site is packed full of really useful information. I've never used a moving company, so it's all interesting to me. Would you know what to do as a large family, packing up a 5-6 room home full of family articles and memorabilia to move from California to say...New York? I wouldn't have a clue!

They have great information resource pages...General moving tips, how to pack your boxes for minimal breakage...How to keep your kids helping instead of hindering, and my personal favorite, Moving With Pets! This information would be invaluable to me. I've moved a few times by myself, with my cat, and with just my own belongings, it's always been a nightmare.

The website writers explain that the moving company itself has liability insurance, but there are additional insurances that would benefit everyone to purchase. I can sure see that would be something to look into.

Then the meat of the website...finding a company in your state or city to do the job for you. They start out with each state, which then has a good list of the important cities in the state, and that sends you to a page with the moving companies that services that area. There are short descriptions of the companies listed, with their ICC and DOT numbers, and a button to contact the company for a quote. I myself would find this extremely useful...I could get quotes from 4 or 5 different companies and do my part in the wee hours when I have time, instead of taking my busy daytime schedule to use on the phone, trying to locate and call several companies and keep the quotes straight from phone messages. The pages load lightning fast and are easy to read, making an overall quick and easy job finding your location.I did a quick search for Atlanta GA moving companies, and was very impressed.

The site also lists Office movers, Long Distance moving companies, and even those who will help you relocate to another country altogether. What a nightmare that could be. I can't even imagine trying to pack up my belongings to move to England or somewhere...wow. There were instant results in the Atlanta area for international movers.

They have a form available for movers to add their business to the site, and even information about truck rentals, and self storage companies to add to the alternatives.

This is altogether a useful and even amazing website for anyone searching for moving companies to help make an extremely stressful time just a little bit easier. I would recommend www.MyMovingQuote.com to anyone. Good job, guys!

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Real Estate Marketing and Related Services by Myrtle Beach Web Design

Monday, May 14, 2007

Myrtle Beach Condos and Real Estate News

Spring seems to be the prime time for the unveiling of new websites, and realtors are no exception. I've seen several new ones pop up. and my partner and I have also been hard at work.

My two main sites now are linked to Myrtle Beach Condos For Sale. David O'Connell has teamed up with Mike Benton and has a brand new company called The Myrtle Beach Home Store. We're having that website farmed out to include a back-end leads management system and the best MLS Listing on the east coast. Look for that in the near future.
Our major endeavor is a website for all the Myrtle Beach Condos from Little River to Pawley's Island, http://www.myrtlebeachcondos.net/ . This website will be the biggest undertaking that I know of in these parts, and we're about to upload the first 30 some pages. Each of the major condos on the Grand Strand will be listed with photos, amenities, and address, with an option for people looking for rentals as well as an inquiry form for purchasing. We will incorportate the MLS into this site as well, and it should be searchable by the condo project.

Condolux Vacations has a newly renovated site for Myrtle Beach Golf Packages, located at www.northmyrtlebeachgolf.com . The new site will have updated golf course information, golf package deals for Spring and Fall, and the best discounts around. They have a new golf expert now, Craig Chinn, who loves his job and is enthusiastic and anxious to service his customers.

I've started a blog on Echo Forum for Real Estate Marketing, www.echoforum.com/blog/realestatemarketing.html . I've wanted to do this for so long, but seldom have time to write in yet ANOTHER blog. But I get so much attention to Echo Forum because it's an SEO tutorial, that I really want to share tips and information on that blog.
Hopefully when it gets some rank I'll be able to get some of the other SEO people to write an article or two as well.

Still working on my Myrtle Beach MySpace page . I truly think MySpace is one of the major marketing tools around right now. I've picked up "friends" made up of celebrities and as many realtors as I can hook up with. I hope when we have something special to sell I'll be able to make an announcement on there and get some business referrals from the many real estate agents that have a page.

Condo-World has purchased a major Myrtle Beach Golf website, http://www.mbgolf.com/. This website has been number one for many years, and I think is affiliated with Golf Holiday. At any rate, it should really prove to be a tremendous money maker for them. It's impressively comprehensive and maybe just a little bit confusing...:-) But I'm sure it will do well.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Scottsdale Real Estate Website

I have accepted a paid review offer from ReviewMe.com, and found this Scottsdale Luxury Home site a pleasure to review. What a beautiful website!

Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson, and some other Arizona cities have become playgrounds for the mega rich and quite a few celebrities live there. If I'm not mistaken, I think a friend of mine who lives in Scottsdale told me that Paul McCartney had a beautiful ranch close by there. I have a realtor friend in Tucson that also is in the luxury home market, so this must be where the big boys like to play.



The homepage of ScottsdaleFineProperties.com is gorgeous. It really sets the mood for someone looking to find a paradise getaway. I like the dark background and more colorful look, instead of the oranges and browns that so many of the Arizona websites tend to incorporate in their look.

About ScottsdaleFineProperties
They have a very detailed page describing their services to sellers and buyers, which is impressive with the marketing services they describe. They will advertise these properties in the Wall Street Journal and some other important publications, as well as spending the dollars necessary to have virtual tours and other media representations for a listing seller.

In these days of so many websites for so many properties, marketing, virtual tours, beautiful large and detailed photos and slideshows are absolutely necessary, and buyers require them.
The little small MLS listings with a couple of photos and nothing much else will not inspire someone to buy a luxury property. It's very important to make a buyer "feel" the ambiance of a property. Also, the various kinds of media work together to market a luxury property in particular. It appears the company knows this and knows how to market their product.

Their MLS Search feature seems to be easy to use and well integrated. This is very important for a real estate website, and many of them are so complicated and full of bugs that it will run a potential "looker" to another site. This one seems to be quick yet powerful.

The Featured Properties page....WOW. Talk about some beautiful homes! They have the properties displayed in very eye-pleasing ways that almost demand the viewer to see these unbelievable houses.

Scottsdale Properties Screen Shot

They also have a "Luxury Showcase" page, which is even more detailed for their most important properties, and it has links to pages that describe each property in detail with beautiful LARGE photos to attract the buyer. I've been in this business a few years now, and one thing I have learned is how important these eye-candy photos are for selling a home or property. Even better, a nice fading slideshow with rooms and views would make those good pages really sing.

Scottsdale Properties Screen Shot

They have some pages for new construction and home developments, which is important, and a special page for Investors to contact certain agents that are specialized in that area.

This leaves a Client Login, their press articles, a special page for a builder that they must have an affiliate relationship with, a SMALL links page (keep it local and small, guys!) and a nice Site Map.

Overall, a very impressive and outstanding website for a very wealthy, high end real estate area such as Scottsdale. Great job!

As a last mention, since I do real estate marketing and SEO, I feel the need to touch on that aspect of the site.

A few tips...on the homepage, I personally would not be repeating "Scottsdale Fine Properties" more than once. I checked, and this is definately not a highly searched term (didn't even show at all). I think it might serve better to target the term "Scottsdale Luxury Homes" and use that term several times on many pages of the site...especially with headers. When bringing incoming links in, I would use that term, as well as Scottsdale Homes, Scottsdale Property, and perhaps Scottsdale Investment Property. Make the inside pages more closely aligned to each of these terms, and put them into some homepage text, linking to that inside page that corresponds to it.

Be careful to ALWAYS have "ALT tags" on all graphics...especially that banner at the top that links to your homepage...and something else very important....

Banish from all links to the homepage that extension of "index.html". You want all links to your homepage and from everywhere to point to your domain name alone. You will confuse the search engines by having an extra version of the homepage linked as "index" and possibly have your page rank steered to IT instead of to the domain name as it should be.

That's about it. A truly beautiful site that is a pleasure to view, and should be a great marketing tool for the company and its clients alike!