Promises, Promises

Chinese Food

In early spring of 2002, I was having lunch at the golf course clubhouse where I worked as an on-site agent, and struck up a conversation with a gentleman who just finished his morning round. Come to find out, he moved into the community back in 1998, which made him one of the first 100 or so homes built in the development.

Anyway, I was eager to learn how to sell this community and felt that asking for testimonials was incredibly important. After a five minute ditty on why he and his wife selected this community, he shared with me that he had one regret. Apparently he and his wife LOVE Chinese food and where they lived up north offered 3-4 local restaurants that delivered to their home. That wasn’t the case at their new community.

He went on to say that when they want Chinese food delivered, they call the closest place, which is about 17 miles from their home. When the food is ready, the delivery person calls and they both head out towards their common destination. When they meet, it is under a dim light at an old gas station and the gentleman said he always feels kind of funny paying some young kid twenty bucks for Moo Goo Gai Pan and Szechuan Chicken.

What he admitted is that when he moved to the community in 1998, the developer promised them that there would be grocery stores and restaurants at the entrance to their development built within 3-4 years. Well, it’s now 16 years since those promises were made by an anxious agent and developer and this couple, if they still live in the same home, still have to drive 16 miles roundtrip (as does the delivery person) each time they want to pick up their delivered Chinese food.

In the mid 2000’s, Brunswick County was famous for building ‘Virtual Communities’. People came down for a weekend and enjoyed Big Tent Events that included boat rides, helicopter rides, hot dogs & hamburgers, clever marketing material and so on. They were taken to newly cut in roads and purchased homesites left and right. Unfortunately, communities up and down the entire east coast starting going belly up at the end of 2008, leaving many angry customers in their wake. Customers mind you that spent $100,000 – $450,000 for a 1/3 acre homesite.

The one word that seems to have been erased from the English language with regards to real estate over the past 7 years is “Risk”. People have zero tolerance for it as nobody can afford to make mistakes of this magnitude and retire happily/successfully.

So if you have yet to find your perfect place to retire, just keep in mind that if someone tells you to close your eyes and imagine a road, swimming pool, clubhouse, golf course, houses, etc., that this might be the closest anyone comes to seeing those items become reality. Virtual communities are no longer considered something of the future, as they are now a thing of the past.

We’re Leaving The Bottom!

Real Estate Sales in Brunswick County, NC

For the past two years I have been working closely with BB&T’s Loss Mitigation Group in Winston Salem. There are three folks in this group and they receive all the foreclosure homes, condos and homesites in Southeastern, NC. Carolina Plantations has listed and sold many homesites and homes for BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust) but that looks to be coming to an end.

Two weeks ago in a conversation with one of the BB&T VPs, it was clearly stated that the rate of incoming foreclosure requests have dropped off significantly. THIS IS GREAT, GREAT NEWS FOR OUR MARKET, and here’s why:

  • Bank owned sales have dominated the landscape for the past 2-3 years
  • Bank owned prices have set the pace for overall pricing
  • With bank owned product off the market, prices WILL INCREASE and overall inventory will decrease.
  • If you have been thinking of selling, this is wonderful news but don’t look for an overnight turnaround
  • IF YOU HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT BUYING, WELL, SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE

Another phenom I wasn’t expecting to happen till perhaps next Summer is already starting to take shape, and this is more good news for the overall real estate market here in Brunswick County. Developments that pretty much closed their doors and the owners went belly up are now starting to get a bunch of attention from several regional Developers/Builders.

Think about it. In 2005-2008 a standard 1/3 acre homesite here was selling anywhere between $100,000 – $300,000. The developers put in some or all of the required infrastructure such as sewer lines, electric lines, water, roads, sidewalks, curb and gutter, storm water drains, etc. Several even put in a resemblance of amenities, including pools, tennis courts, ponds, walking trails, etc.

These developments are owned by the banks and the banks desperately want these off the books, as they are responsible for the carrying costs which include POA fees, taxes, insurance, etc. So, enter in a few regional developer/builders who can come in and purchase the remaining homesites at wholesale prices for $10,000 per homesite and BAM! – you have resuscitated a once struggling community and given it a transfusion of marketing dollars and building activity.

Several of the communities here where this phenom is occurring or might be occurring is Rutledge in Shallotte, Calabash Lakes, Rourk Woods in Shallotte, The Retreat in Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Ridge in Ocean Isle Beach and Tidal Walk in Wilmington. Heck, one of these players, who typically sells home/lot packages in the mid $200s range just purchased 30 or so homesites in Landfall, thee premiere gated community in Wilmington and already has broken ground on 6 spec homes with more coming out of the ground daily.

Carolina Dreamin’ has been predicting this turnaround for Southeastern NC for over a year now and our sales alone are up over 30% vs. 2011. This is real and my guess is that in our lifetime, we will never see these interest rates or prices again. Contact us today at 910 755-7557 if y