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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 26

The first week of March, The National Association of Realtors® reported that pending home sales have declined--with many home buyers waiting for clarity on housing stimulus provisions.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in January, fell 7.7 percent to 80.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 87.1 in December, and is 6.4 percent below January 2008 when it was 85.9.  The index is at the lowest level since tracking began in 2001, when the index value was set at 100.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, the downturn in the economy also weighed heavily on the data.  "Even with many serious potential home buyers on the sidelines waiting for passage of the stimulus bill, job losses and weak consumer confidence were a natural drag on home sales," Yun said.  "We expect similarly soft home sales in the near term, but buyers are expected to respond to much improved affordability conditions and from the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit."

NAR President, Charles McMillan, stated it's ironic with the weak housing market that affordability conditions have improved dramatically.  "Housing affordability is at a record high--the buying power of a typical family has risen significantly," he said.  "With the drop in interest rates, a median-income family can afford a home costing $20,000 more than a year ago for the same monthly mortgage payment.  With the strong housing stimulus, we are hopeful inventory will get trimmed and which will help prices stabilize in many areas by the end of the year."

Yun added, "Conditions have been aligning very favorably for home buyers with the exception of consumer confidence.  But I am hopeful that sales will turn around by late spring and early summer because history suggests that home sales can rise even in times of job losses when housing affordability rises."

ECU Recognized For Community Achievements

by Pistol Tingen

East Carolina University and seven other UNC system schools have been recognized nationally for community outreach and engagement achievements.

ECU is one of only 195 institutions in the country to be recognized for community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Community engagement is a collaboration between a university and its communities in mutually beneficial partnerships that respond to community needs by sharing skills, knowledge and resources.

The foundation, which makes assessments of colleges and universities, has announced that 119 campuses received the engaged distinction for 2008, joining 76 that were identified in 2006.

The other University of North Carolina campuses include Appalachian State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Pembroke and Western Carolina University. Those campuses join North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill that received the designation in 2006.

With the announcement, the proportion of North Carolina's public universities deemed by the Carnegie Foundation to be “community engaged” far exceeds that of peer state systems across the country including California, Texas and Wisconsin, according to the UNC system administration.

“Receiving this classification confirms what we at ECU already know — that the commitment and practice of engagement are woven throughout our teaching, research, service and outreach enterprises,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “This is our history and a core strength as we pursue our mission to serve as a national model for public service and regional transformation.”

If you would like to know more about East Carolina University or real estate in the Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

 

Now is the perfect time to buy a home or invest in real estate in the Greenville, NC – Pitt County area.

The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team can help you locate a variety of well-priced properties, as well as direct you towards a multitude of financing options currently available. Contact us at (252) 321-6161 so we can show you that the timing is perfect and financing choices are still available!

See for yourself--take a moment and review our brief True – False Test below.  We think you’ll be surprised by the answers.

True or False 

1. “I have to have a large down payment to purchase a home.”
     False.
  There are several loans available that require little or NO Money Down Payments
2. “I have to have perfect credit to qualify for a home loan.”
     False.
  Loan programs are available for many buyers with mid range credit scores.
3. “Homes are not a good investment now.”
     False.
  The September 2008 average sales price of a single family home in Pitt County was      higher than for September 2007.

Current economic fundamentals show that this is a good time to buy a home. 

Here are the Top 4 Ways to Buy a Home Now!

1.  USDA Offers 100% Financing
     You may even be able to financing closing costs!
2.  3% Down FHA Loans
      Easy Underwriting guidelines still available!
3.  100% Veterans Loans
     Qualifed Veterans are exempt from 1st Time Homebuyers Requirements! 
4.  NC Housing with Down Payment Assistance
    
You may borrow  $7,000  for down payment and closing costs with no interest and deferred payments!  Income and sales price limits may apply.  Contact The Pistol Tingen Team for a referral to a Mortgage Specialist who can assist you.

Plus, the once-in-a-lifetime $7,500 tax credit available to many First Time Buyers, makes a home purchase today an even greater investment!

First-Time Buyer Tax Credit: A Reason to Buy Now

When you combine the tax credit with today’s continuing low interest rates, large selection of for-sale inventory, and low home prices, now is a perfect time to buy a home.

How the Tax Credit Works

The First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit was passed this year as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (H.R. 3221) on July 30 and targets any individual or household that hasn’t owned a home for at least three years. Taxpayers can take the credit on their 2008 tax return if they bought their house this year after April 9.

It’s worth up to $7,500 and can be taken in a single tax year. Authorization for the credit ends July 1, 2009, so if you wait to buy in the first half of 2009, you can take the credit on your 2009 tax return.

The actual credit amount is set as a percentage of the home purchase amount. That percentage amount is 10 percent, so you can get 10 percent of the home price credited against your tax liability, up to a maximum $7,500.

Income limits are $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for households. Individuals whose income exceeds the $75,000 limit but isn’t more than $95,000 can still take the credit but on a reduced basis. The same thing applies to households earning up to $170,000.

Any house is eligible as long as it’s a primary residence and is in the United States.

Buyers Have 15 Years to Pay Back

To help keep the program cost effective for taxpayers, the federal government requires the tax credit to be paid back in small, 6.67-percent increments over 15 years. For that reason, some analysts have likened the credit to a 15-year, interest-free loan to help make home buying affordable.

There’s one restriction on the type of financing that home buyers can use if they plan to take the credit. That restriction is on tax-exempt mortgage financing. That only applies if the home buyers are using below-market interest-rate financing from a public agency or nonprofit that’s funding the loan using proceeds from a tax-exempt mortgage-revenue bond issue. For most buyers, this won’t be an issue. It’s mainly an issue for low-income buyers using special mortgage financing.

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, or if you have questions about the Greenville, NC – Pitt County real estate market, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

The Reality of Real Estate

by Pistol Tingen


     The media, all brands and flavors, has done a magnificent job of portraying the housing market as distressed and all but out of business.  Yes, there are areas that have been hard hit such as resort markets where property “flipping” was all the rage along with the belief that rising values would never end.  Well, it’s silly to believe that any commodity has an infinite price point and when markets got overbuilt and overpriced, look at what happened.  No one should be surprised.  There are other parts of the country that have faced manufacturing plant closings and other job losses and that has had a dramatic and profoundly negative impact on the housing market.

     But what about North Carolina and, especially, the Greenville-Pitt County area?  North Carolina and our locale are some of the hottest destinations in the country for business, industry and retirement.  There is no reason to believe that is going to change over the long term, and that’s good news for real estate.

     Let’s look at homes from a practical point of view.  A home is somewhere you live. It is something you can enjoy every day. It is something you can improve over time and immediately reap the benefits.  It is also something that affords most families a significant tax break through the mortgage interest deduction.  And as you pay down your mortgage over time, you build equity, or savings, that millions of people have found to be invaluable over the years, aside from long term appreciation.  Is all that gone?  In my opinion, not in the long run and history validates my position.

    So, what has happened here?  The Greenville-Pitt County real estate market has slowed along with the rest of the economy.  That was inevitable.  My opinion is that it will also improve along with the rest of the economy.  Exactly when?  Nobody knows.  In the meantime, and looking over  comparisons of sales activity for the first three quarters of 2007 and 2008, the number of closed single family residential sales has declined approximately 33%, but has outperformed some other markets.  That still represents over 1,100 homes sold – not an insignificant number.   What about prices?  Prices have actually increased in our market from an average of $185, 233 last year to $187,922 this year.  A modest gain, yes, but a gain nonetheless.  The slight price rise we’ve witnessed is  an indication of the value many buyers have seen in local properties for sale, in my opinion.  What about financing with the “collapse” of the credit markets?  The fact of the matter is that mortgage financing is readily available to qualified, credit worthy buyers.   It’s that simple.  And interest rates remain at historic lows, saving individual consumers thousands of dollars in mortgage interest charges.

     So with all that in mind, is it a good time to buy a home?  With low interest rates, realistic prices, homes for sale in all price ranges, the answer is yes.  Just be mindful that real estate, as with other investments, should be viewed from a long term perspective.

Submitted By Richard Lane, Broker-In-Charge
Prudential Prime Properties

World Renowned Surgical Pioneer Launches ECU Lecture Series

by Pistol Tingen

 

September 25, Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr. delivered the inaugural lecture in the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series offered by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University located in Pitt County, Greenville, NC.  Speaking on the history of heart surgery at East Carolina University, Dr. Chitwood addressed an audience of more than 200 people.

Dr. Chitwood is the senior associate vice chancellor for health sciences at the Brody School of Medicine, director of the East Carolina Heart Institute and a cardiovascular surgery professor at the medical school.  Dr. Chitwood described innovations that began with the turn of the 20th century as well as medical innovations that continue today—including his development of the da Vinci Surgical System currently used to help patients at the Brody School of Medicine. Chitwood uses the system he developed and conducts minimally invasive surgery remotely with robotic arms.

Surgeons from around the world travel to Greenville, NC to study and learn the da Vinci Surgical System techniques developed by Dr. Chitwood.    Chitwood’s recognition that robotic technology could provide surgeons with the visibility and freedom of movement required for performing cardiac surgery resulted in his development of the da Vinci System.

The Brody School of Medicine is the first U.S. institution to perform robotic-assisted mitral valve surgery.  The Cardiovascular Center at Pitt County Memorial Hospital currently performs 1,200 cardiac surgical, 3,000 interventional, and 5,000 catheter-based procedures every year according to Dr. Chitwood. He described the surgery as being very much like virtual reality. “You are doing the operation as if it is a hand motion, but there are not the mistakes that hands can make,” he said. 

The University Health Systems (UHS) 2008 Quarterly Report, Dr. Chitwood leads the field in heart surgery using the robot, and he recently performed his 400th robot-assited mitral valve replacement.

Dr. Chitwood is a member of 25 professional societies, and is the President of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The community of Greenville, NC is proud and fortunate to claim the world-renowned surgical pioneer as one of our esteemed residents..

For those individuals who would like to learn more about all that Greenville, NC has to offer, The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team provides an extensive, informative Newcomer’s Relocation package.  For immediate response, please contact our office to speak with one of our licensed professional Realtors at (252) 321-6161.

North Carolina Global TransPark Newest Site for Spirit AeroSystems

by Pistol Tingen

 

Marking another sign of growth for the North Carolina Global TransPark, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. broke ground this week. For the Global TransPark--located in Kinston, NC and just minutes from Greenville, NC, this ground-breaking represents the beginning of a significant economic development. The GTP is a cargo airport and transportation hub created in 1991 to bring jobs to the eastern part of North Carolina.

Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.is the world’s largest independent supplier of commercial airplane assemblies and components and is based in Wichita Kansas. Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. announced May 14, 2008, that it would expand its operations in to Lenoir County, a close neighbor to Pitt County, NC. According to Spirit, their new facility will hire 1,031 workers and invest more than $570 million in the project.

In a press release, Gov. Mike Easley stated, “This groundbreaking represents a tremendous opportunity for Kinston and Lenoir County, North Carolina’s emerging aerospace industry and eastern North Carolina”. In addition Easley said, “When construction is complete, we will have one of the world’s most advanced aerospace fabrication and assembly plants”.

Completion of the projected 500,000-square foot manufacturing facility is scheduled for April of 2010. Initially, Spirit will employ 500 people, with plans to grow employment to the 1,000 number when all five phases are fully implemented. According to Dan Wheeler, Vice President and General Manager of the North Carolina Business Unit, Spirit will begin recruiting engineers later in the year. Wheeler commented that several hundred engineering positions will be created for the Kinston GTP facility.

For relocating individuals seeking real estate assistance in the areas surrounding the GTP, The Pistol Tingen Team provides superior, professional service. Our team specializes in helping families learn more about the Greenville and Kinston areas. Whether relocating to or simply moving within Pitt and Lenoir counties, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

U.S. Government to the Mortgage Rescue?

by Pistol Tingen

 

Before the weekend comes to a close, both FannieMae and FreddieMac may lose control to the United States Treasury Department.   Steven Adamske, spokesman for House Financial Services, stated, “We are waiting to see what the details are”.

Both FannieMae and FreddieMac currently buy and package mortgages for other investors, and together hold or guarantee $5 trillion in housing debt—a figure that represents nearly half of the nation’s total.  The financial health of these two mortgage giants is critical to the housing market.

FreddieMac and FannieMae  are chartered by the government but are shareholder owned—funded solely with private capital raised from investors on Wall Street and around the world. Without question, they are the nation’s main source of liquidity for home loans.  At the present time, neither mortgage company appears to be in imminent danger of failure.

The plan under consideration could place Freddie and Fannie under federal control, and could include steps to dilute common stock while sheltering the agencies from financial losses. 

Federal intervention could serve as a partial remedy to help correct the slumping housing market by easing fears about the solvency of FreddieMac and FannieMae.  Both Freddie and Fannie could then obtain funding easier, which could lead to lower interest rates on mortgages and provide a jolt to the housing market.

Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, commented, “It’s a bold move and it certainly has big plusses.  Mortgages rates would lower and more credit would be available.  Stepping in like this will be a big shot in the arm to the stock market and bond market.  It’s a very positive step.”.

Certainly these are some changing times in the entire real estate market.  Throughout the fluid housing market of Greenville, NC – Pitt County, The Pistol Tingen Team continues to offer unwavering, professional real estate service to the community. Whether buying or selling, please contact us (252) 321-6161 for all your real estate needs.

30-year Mortgages Lowest in 6 Weeks!

by Pistol Tingen

 

Good news! Right before the Labor Day weekend, rates on 30-year mortgages fell for the second straight week, declining to the lowest level in more than a month.

On August 28 Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.40% for the week, down from 6.47% a week earlier. The rate was the lowest since the week of July 17 when 30-year mortgages were at 6.26%.

 

The Freddie Mac survey also showed that other mortgage rates were mixed during the week.  Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate—a popular choice for refinancing, fell to 5.93% from 6%.  Rates on five-year, adjustable mortgages averaged 6.03%, up slightly from 5.99%.  Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages also edged up slightly to 5.33%, from 5.29%.

 

A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.67%, 15-year mortgage rates averaged 6.12%, five-year adjustable-rate mortgages were at

6.35%,  and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages stood at 5.84%.

 

While mortgage rates remain attractively low and there continues to be a surplus of homes on the market, now is a great time to purchase a home in Greenville, NC.  The Pistol Tingen Team is always available to assist with your real estate needs at (252) 321-6161.

 

NC Retirement Community Offers Activities and Leisure

by Pistol Tingen

Greenville, NC offers an excellent option for those looking for a retirement community that provides a full spectrum of services and conveniences. 

Cypress Glenn is a United Methodist continuing care retirement community located in Greenville, NC within Pitt County.  The community is managed by Life Care Services LLC, a national leader in senior housing.  The 91-acre campus features spacious, well-designed residences, including cottages, apartments, suites and private rooms.

The diverse community offers a café for casual dining, a gift shop, a wellness center/exercise facility, an aerobics pool, a chapel, an arts and crafts room, a library and a beauty parlor and barber shop.

Residents can take advantage of total access to a full continuum of health care--including a clinic, assisted living, memory care, independence plus care and skilled nursing.  A full safety and security force offers residents peace of mind.

At Cypress Glenn, residents enjoy a retirement lifestyle as active as they choose.  A wealth of educational, cultural, social and spiritual activities is always available on the Cypress Glenn campus. Conveniently located, Cypress Glenn is just minutes away from East Carolina University (ECU), Pitt Community College (PCC), The Brody School of Medicine and Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH).

Whether looking for the perfect retirement community for yourself or a family member--or if you have any other real estate needs, The Pistol Tingen Team would be pleased to be your real estate source in Greenville, NC. Call us at 252.321.6161 with questions or for assistance.

Foreclosures as Investment Properties

by Pistol Tingen

With the growing availability of foreclosure properties, many bargain shoppers are thinking about buying one of these “lender-owned” homes. Some of the would-be buyers, though, worry about purchasing a house filled with unknown problems.  When asked for her advice, money-savvy investment expert, Walecia Konrad gave the following advice.

“More properties than ever are in foreclosure, and the number may climb—to 2.5 million by the end of 2009, according to Lehman Brothers. But auctions on the courthouse steps, where speculators pay cash on the spot for homes they probably haven’t inspected, aren’t the place to buy.

Better to try the aftermarket, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Some of the best deals are found in what goes by the awkward term real estate owned or REO homes. These are properties that did not sell at auction and are then put back on the market by the lender. So you can inspect them as you would any home, discover any problems or liens, and know what you’re getting into.

With the glut of properties for sale, Glen Daniels, director of REO sales at Foreclosure.com says that lenders have become very motivated sellers. Daniels also stated that he’s routinely seeing 20 percent discounts on these properties.

Such online services (including ForeclosureS.com and RealtyTrac) collect data on foreclosed and lender-owned homes, then sell access to those listings for a fee, usually about $40 to $50 a month. And there are state-and region-specific sites such as ForeclosuresNH.com.

A real-estate agent who specializes in lender-owned properties can also help you find REO homes. Quiz any brokers you approach on how, and how quickly, they learn of bank-owned property coming to market.”

For both Pitt and Greene counties--which covers Greenville, NC and surrounding communities, all FannieMae Foreclosures are marketed through The Pistol Tingen Team.  Experts in directing home buyers through the maze sometimes associated with lender-owned homes, The Pistol Tingen Team is always the first contact to be made aware of FannieMae properties. (FannieMae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to ensure that mortgage bankers and other lenders have enough funds to lend to home buyers at low rates.)

If you have a question about area FannieMae foreclosures or other foreclosures currently on the market, call The Pistol Tingen Team at 252.321.6161.

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 26

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