Hurricane Names for 2021 Season and Preparedness Checklist

Outer Banks Hurricane names 2021

Hurricane Preparedness

May OBX Update

Let the May flowers bloom! 
We are gearing up for a super busy vacation season so far.  Keep in mind most of the Outer Banks is short-staffed and one of the big culprits is actually the housing crisis.  There is a huge lack of affordable houses available for year-round residents and that is creating a big crunch for the job market.  So if you’re visiting this year, be mindful everyone will be doing the best they can with the staff they have.

We love having you here!  

I’ve got 3 updates to share this month:

Mid-Currituck Bridge –  Well, no big surprise.  More delays.  Click HERE to read the article.
Summertime Selling? – While most people don’t think of selling mid-vacation season, there are actually some real advantages to it.  If you want to take advantage of the current market activity, there’s no reason to wait.  See the 5 reasons here.
Busy Vacation Season – I have some unofficial reports that off-season (shoulder week) bookings are up 68% for the Outer Banks.  Of course in season is fully booked across the board.  There was a very funny meme out recently that I thought worth sharing:
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5 Reasons To List Your Home in the Summer

Although it sounds reasonable to think with all the guests coming, it would be better to just sell the home in the fall or spring, take a look at these 5 reasons you could be missing out by waiting.

  1. Inventory has been our biggest challenge in terms of pricing. June, July, and August are historically the time of year when our inventory is the lowest.  Why not take advantage of that incredible opportunity?  Lower inventory could mean higher prices.
  2. The Outer Banks will have over 3 million visitors each year. Obviously, the majority of those folks visit during the summer months.  We cannot get that kind of exposure any other time of year!
  3. The home is fully open and operational. Buyers will have inspections done before closing.  When the house is winterized during the fall/winter there are extra costs to open the house back up for those inspections.  Right now, everything is up and running and easy to inspect and ensure to the buyer the home is in good condition.
  4. It’s a beach house! When does the beach look the best?  Summertime of course.  Your beach house will show the best with sun shining, deck chairs out, pool open, hot tub running!  Buyers get excited about these things and it helps to sell your home.
  5. Buyers this time of year are serious about buying! If a potential buyer is going to take time out of their much-anticipated vacation to look at your home, it means they are serious about buying.  They’re here with all decision-makers too.

February OBX Market Update

It’s almost Spring!

While the weather here is warming up, nothing is as hot as the real estate market.  In fact, 2005 called and said it wants to reminisce!
Market Update – Interest rates did tick up a bit (still holding at around 3%), but that doesn’t seem like it will slow down the activity right away.  We have 44% of our inventory under contract.  If you list it, it will sell.  If you are thinking about putting your home up for sale, here’s a checklist of readiness to look at to get prepared.
Vendor List Normally this time of year I post my list of trusted vendors.  Everyone is backed up for 6 to 8 weeks at the moment.  If you do have something that really needs to be done, contact me and let me see if I can find a fit for you.
Rental Market – We are once again experiencing a record year in vacation rentals.  If you do have a few weeks lagging to get booked, I will be happy to post your home on my business page for additional exposure.
Outer Banks Foodies – One of the top questions I get regularly is, where’s the best place to get…..  Here’s a quick peek at a few of my favorites around the area – CLICK HERE!

COVID-19 & the OBX Real Estate Market

The real estate market is adapting quite well to the current restrictions and Stay at Home order that is in place for North Carolina. While we are doing some things the same, since our market is largely based on out of town property owners, many things have changed to keep things going smoothly.

Here’s what’s new:
1. Virtual Showings – While my listings always feature high end professional photography, this week I’m also getting them all set up with 3D Virtual Tours. This will give prospective buyers the feeling of actually being in the room. We are doing FaceTime and Zoom showings for buyers as well.

2. Virtual Open House – Our local MLS is implementing a new feature to promote and hold and Open House virtually. The details of this feature are still being released. This is an exciting update to a market like ours. I can see this being a great new tool used on the regular after this event is over. I’ll be setting up a few of these in the next week. Contact me if you’d like to participate.

3. Appraisals – Local lenders have assured me that when it makes sense, underwriters are giving appraisers the green light to perform desktop appraisals. This way, properties with high risk inhabitants don’t have to be exposed, yet we can still make progress on the sale of the home.

4. Lenders – With the IRS unable to process any transcript requests before closing, our local lenders have been authorized to skip that requirement for the time being. It will no longer be needed to receive a clear to close. This is showing great versatility and willingness to keep transactions moving.

5. Virtual Closings – While NC does not currently support virtual notaries, you may be in a state that does. We have been doing out of town closings as long as I’ve been in the business, so that part of it is nothing new. Virtual notaries are approved in 35 states. So if you have a closing coming up and need documents notarized check and see if they can do it online instead.

6. COVID-19 Addendum – NC Realtors did quickly create and distribute a special addendum regarding this pandemic that allows buyers and sellers to have a little more time to close if delays occur related to the shutdowns. It also allows the buyer to cancel if they get laid off and become unable to close due to not obtaining loan approval. Lenders will still be verifying employment 5 days before closing.

7. Some not so welcome news – minimum credit scores have been raised to 640 or 680, depending on lender. This is up from 580 minimum. We are also seeing some lenders no longer locking in Jumbo rates. So we may see Jumbo loan guidelines get an overhaul and be much stricter (anything over $510,400), and some no longer doing these loans at all for a while.

Overall, it’s all about adapting. Which we are doing. If you are thinking about buying or selling, we can still make that happen for you.

In fact, of the 112 properties that have gone under contract in the last 30 days, more than 50% of them were also just listed in the same 30 days. Some will be more comfortable moving forward at this time, and some won’t. Either way, please let me know how I can help.

June 2017 Market Update

The trend of big activity is continuing for our market.  Recent news of the Fed raising the Prime Rate to 4.25% could cause our summer market to be busier than normal as people make the decision to buy before the long term rates are affected, possibly going up as high as 6%, according to history.

 

Here are the highlights:

  • Total Sales: Total sales (245 Units) for May are at their highest level since January 2005. Additionally, the total volume sold is at its highest level since 2005 (>$80 million).
  • Under-contract – Units listed as under contract declined by 3% due to the record number of unit sales in May and the normal seasonal decline; however, with 461 units currently listed as being under contract, June sales should also be impressive.
  • New Construction: As of April 2017, the number of new construction building permits were down 32% compared to last year and total building permit value was down 47%.
  • Days on the Market: For all residential properties listed in the MLS, the average Days on the Market has dropped dramatically to 135 days; however, when looking at just properties listed in the MLS since January (1488 units) the average Days on the Market calculation drops to 57.
  • How Sold: In our market, 58% of all sales use conventional loans, 22% are cash, 8% are VA, 5% are FHA, 3% are jumbo. USDAA and Other account for the remaining loans (4%).
  • Distressed Sales: After experiencing a steady decline for years, Bank Owned property sales were up 18% in May. Short sales continue their downward decline and are down by 7%.
  • Inventories: Housing inventory was down by 8% in May.

*This information is reprinted with permission from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS

Let’s break it down by area and price range:

Corolla                                                            

$200,000 – $400,000                                   $401,000 – $600,000

51 for sale                                                         93 for sale

43 sold YTD                                                     43 sold YTD

8 buyers each month                                      8 buyers each month

6 months of inventory                                   11.6 months of inventory

9 U/C currently                                               7 U/C currently

114 Days on Market                                        144 Days on Market

 

$601,000 – $800,000                                   $801,000 – $1,000,000

54 for sale                                                         27 for sale

14 sold YTD                                                      6 sold YTD

2.5 buyers each month                                   1 buyers each month

21.6 months of inventory                               27 months of inventory

9 U/C currently                                               3 U/C currently

114 Days on Market                                        134 Days on Market

 

$1,000,000 – up

71 for sale

15 sold YTD

2.7 buyers each month

26 months of inventory

2 U/C Currently

161 Days on Market

 

Duck

$200,000 – $400,000                                   $401,000 – $600,000

10 for sale                                                         34 for sale

9 sold YTD                                                       23 sold YTD

1.5 buyers per month                                     4 buyers per month

6.6 months of inventory                                 8.5 months of inventory

1 U/C currently                                                 4 U/C Currently

125 Days on Market                                        94 Days on Market

 

$601,000 – $800,000                                   $801,000 – $1,000,000

27 for sale                                                         21 for sale

9 sold YTD                                                       8 sold

1.6 buyer each month                                     1.5 buyers each month

17 months of inventory                                  14 months of inventory

4 U/C Currently                                               1 U/C currently

81 Days on Market                                          139 Days on Market

 

$1,000,000 – up

31 for sale

6 sold YTD

1 buyers per month

31 months of inventory

2 U/C currently

186 Days on Market

 

Southern Shores

$200,000 – $400,000                                  $401,000 – $600,000

11 for sale                                                         31 for sale

14 sold YTD                                                     15 sold YTD

2.5 buyers each month                                   2.7 buyers each month

4 months of inventory                                   11 months of inventory

10 U/C currently                                             9 U/C currently

73 Days on Market                                          94 Days on Market

 

$601,000 – $800,000                                   $801,000 – $1,000,000

10 Active                                                            8 Active

3 sold YTD                                                         2 sold YTD

.5 buyers each month                                     .36 buyers each month

20 months of inventory                                  22 months of inventory

3 U/C currently                                                0 U/C currently

243 Days on Market                                        169 Days on Market

 

$1,000,000 – up

13 Active

1 sold YTD

0 U/C currently

547 Days on Market

January Mid-Currituck Bridge Update

With the change of governorship in NC during the November election, it remains to be seen what the state’s position will be on the importance of this bridge project.  Governor McCrory was very committed to the project, as was his team on the DOT.  We have yet to hear what Cooper’s stance is.  With his main guy at the DOT being formerly involved with the EPA, it’s not looking good.

Meanwhile, I came across the letter from the SELC to NCDOT and Federal Highway Authority dated December 21, 2016.  You can read that letter here.  (Warning, it’s very lengthy, but has a great history and timeline of events to how we got where we are.)  In the letter, something caught my attention:

“The new expectation that traffic in the study area will be significantly lighter than previously anticipated and the Transportation Agencies’ failure to incorporate this fact into their analysis.”

Part of their argument against the building of the bridge was this new expectation of traffic.  I kept reading until I came across this info:

“New traffic forecasts, however, have shown that every single one of these predictions is no longer true. Travel demand will no longer exceed road capacity on 29 miles of the road network by 2035, or even 2040.”

I wanted to know why the SELC is reporting a new study shows the traffic patterns would be lower than originally predicted.  In my research I found that it turns out the DOT changed their traffic numbers and projections based on national trends and actual observed traffic counts.

So, basically what happened is DOT put out new numbers, and SELC pounced with another opportunity to squash the project.  While their argument is the same as it has been from the beginning, with the DOT’s own reports now showing a different projection in numbers, will the decision to build the bridge be sustained?  That coupled with new leadership has me feeling a lot of doubt that it will happen.

What are your thoughts?

Read the letter from SELC in December here. http://southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/December-2016-Comments-on-Mid-Currituck-Bridge-NEPA-Review.pdf

 

 

January Outer Banks Market Report

Happy New Year!  I’m really excited about what’s to come in 2017 for the real estate market on the Outer Banks.  There seems to be a burst in consumer confidence, and I hope that positive effect comes to us in full force.  We definitely need it!

We had a huge year for sales in 2012 and things have been pretty stable since then.  It doesn’t surprise me that we saw no increase in the number of sales for 2016 from 2015.  I do suspect we will have a very strong year for 2017 in terms of  number of sales:

Year: 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total # Sold: 2042 2093 2139 2292 2289
Increase from Previous Year 21% 2% 2% 7% 0%

 

The big question on everyone’s mind is still about price.  We have already seen the interest rates tick up a bit.  That definitely makes it a little more challenging for prices to rise.  The other issue is of course, inventory.  While our inventory levels are down quite a bit, 14% to be exact, we still have an over 12 month supply of properties for sale, in the overall market.

In a few of our specific markets, like Duck and Corolla, the inventory levels are much higher, nearly 24 months’ supply.  The number of buyers would have to triple to bring inventory to an 8 month supply.  Which is still slightly high.  With the latest bridge developments, I’m not sure why the number of buyers would go up that much.  So those areas could still be plagued with an extreme oversupply of inventory, continuing to suppress the pricing.

Meanwhile, the opportunity to buy a home at a great price, with great rental income is high!  Click here for the checklist of what to know before buying on the Outer Banks.

If you’re thinking of selling this year, let’s chat about what I can do for you!

2016 Agent of the Year

Beach Realty & Construction / Kitty Hawk Rentals

2016 Agent of the Year – Ilona Matteson

OBX Agent of the Year From left to right, Jimbo Ward, President, Ilona Matteson, 2016 Agent of the Year, and Beth Urch, Sales Manager

Ilona Matteson, associate broker for Beach Realty & Construction / Kitty Hawk Rentals, was named the company’s agent of the year for the second year in a row.  Ilona also earned agent of the year honors in 2012.   Ilona was licensed in the late 1990’s and became sales manager for Beach Realty in 2002.  In 2006, she moved to Richmond, VA and was affiliated with a national coaching company where she excelled as a one-on-one coach for real estate professionals.  The allure of the Outer Banks brought her back to the beach and she resumed her career in real estate sales.  She quickly became a top producer and attributes her success to hard work, discipline and in-depth knowledge of the local market.  Along with her successful career in real estate sales, Ilona also offers training and coaching to the sales team at Beach Realty & Construction.

You can contact Ilona at [email protected]

7 Things To Know About Buying Real Estate on the Outer Banks

Here is a list of the top 7 items I discuss with any new buyer who is looking for their vacation or investment home on the Outer Banks.

  1. Be prepared for 20% or more down. Depending on your situation, the bank may require more (like when buying a condo) because it’s not your primary residence.
  2. You can use up to 75% of the rental income the home generates in order to help qualify you for the mortgage. You will need at least a three-year history.  Keep in mind, this will mean you have to apply for an Investor loan which does carry a slightly higher interest rate.
  3. The entire Outer Banks is in a flood zone. Some areas are in flood zone X which means no insurance is required.  Most of our area will qualify for the National Flood Insurance Program, which usually runs less than $800 a year.  (Assuming Congress passes the extension this year)
  4. If you buy a foreclosure, you’ll have to re-furnish the home and buy it as-is. For some reason, the banks just haven’t figured out that the furniture in these vacation homes is valuable and needs to stay.
  5. The local county and city taxes are very low here. We generate so much revenue from the weekly guests in Occupancy Tax and in Transfer Tax on the sale of a home, that the annual taxes can stay very reasonable.
  6. Property Management fees vary based on the services you select from the Manager. It’s sort of an a-la-carte situation these days.  How much you want the Property Manager to do for you will determine the percentage you’ll pay.
  7. The Median Sales Price for a home on the Outer Banks in June 2005 was $507,000. In December 2016, it was $315,000. NOW is a GREAT time to buy your vacation home!

For more information on how to get a home of your own on the Outer Banks, call today!