Could there possibly be a new Columbia SC housing bubble on the horizon? The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed prices in the nation's 20 largest cities had the biggest year-over-year increase since May of 2006. Diana Olick reports for NBR that some are now worrying that we may be facing a new housing bubble.
Even though signs point to the Columbia SC housing crisis being over, 58 percent of Americans believe we are still in the middle of a crisis, and roughly one in five people believe the worst is yet to come. These statistics come from the MacArthur Foundation. Their "How Housing Matters" research initiative involved a telephone survey of 1,433 adults, conducted between Feb. 27 and March 10.
What do you think? Do you think we're on the verge of another Columbia SC housing bubble? We'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. (Your email address will never be displayed on this site, or used by us to contact you… so please go ahead and tell us what you think about a possible Columbia SC housing bubble.)
t's no wonder why Columbia SC new homes are being heavily influenced by baby boomers. Recent studies by the National Home Builders Association and AARP show that baby boomers are leading the push in Columbia SC new home construction trends, influencing how builders, designers and architects modify their floor plans to meet varied lifestyles and changing needs.
Today's 77 million baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and represent 26 percent of the total US population. Boomers make up 45 percent of the national work force and hold the largest amount of discretionary income in history.
Boomers Prefer Columbia SC New Homes
A study done by seniors advocacy group AARP shows that a large percentage of boomers plan to move when they retire. Those in a position to sell their existing homes prefer building new Columbia SC homes to take advantage of new technology and energy efficiency than trying to maintain or remodel an older home.
Whether boomers are remodeling or planning to look at Columbia SC new homes, this generation is more active than generations past, has a more sophisticated style and wants lots of options and choices in their home designs.
Multi-purpose flex rooms are high on the list for active boomers who love to entertain, exercise and relax. These spaces can easily be converted to a guest room, home office, or an exercise or media room. Today every space needs to have a purpose; gone are the days of rarely used rooms like formal dining rooms.
Another hot trend in Columbia SC new homes is having a large master suite with comfortable sitting areas, large his-and-hers walk-in closets, master baths with garden tubs, dual sinks and if space permits, a small patio or terrace.
Baby boomers are very particular about their kitchens, as cooking and entertaining are typically at the top of the list for these active adults. They are seeking kitchens stocked with high-end amenities like professional grade appliances, granite countertops, hardwood flooring and custom cabinetry. Items like large pantries, center islands and cozy breakfast nooks are must-haves.
Home builders, designers and residential architects are continuously modifying their floor plans and home designs to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of a generation that is not yet ready to head to the retirement home.
A foreclosure backlog could slow the Columbia SC housing recovery. All states are not backed up with foreclosures in waiting, some are, some aren't. This backlog, coupled with the continued problem of homeowners being underwater on their mortgage, could mean the housing uptick we've seen over the past year could be confronted with a slowdown.
The Columbia SC housing recovery continues to also be hampered by record low inventory of homes on the market for sale. Many sellers are either holding out for higher prices later, or, as mentioned before, are dealing with mortgages that are still underwater because values fell so far during the previous real estate bust.
We have more news and articles as they relate to the Columbia SC housing situation at our Columbia SC Real Estate News category to your right under the Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.
Many renters can't afford to buy a Columbia SC home because they spend more than they make.
In a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. renters by Rent.com, an astonishing 61 percent said they spend more than they make every month. If you're renting and hope to someday be able to afford to buy a Columbia SC home, here are five ways you can work on curbing your spending habits.
5 Ways to Help You Buy a Columbia SC Home
Trim the Fat.
Nearly half of the renters surveyed (49 percent) said the hardest part about saving money is the fact that costs just continue to increase. While you can't do much about rising costs, you can stop spending money on things you don't need, and "doing without" is the way to eventually be able to afford to buy a Columbia SC home of your own.
For example, paying for a gym membership will burn more money than calories. Instead, create a mini home gym with some simple, inexpensive fitness equipment, like resistance bands or kettlebells, so you can stay fit without straining your wallet. If you don't watch a lot of television but you're paying for cable, consider switching to a cheaper online option, like Netflix or Hulu Plus. Instead of paying $60 to $100 per month for cable, Netflix runs about $9.00 per month. Toss the extra money into your "buy a Columbia SC home" savings account. Speaking of saving…
Learn to Save.
Life is unpredictable, but don't be one of the 26 percent of renters who said necessary-but-unbudgeted expenses are the hardest part about saving money. Put a small amount of your paycheck aside in an emergency fund until you have at least six times your monthly income. When your car breaks down or you need a root canal, you'll be glad you have the extra cash on hand.
Treat Yourself (Responsibly)
Impulse purchases were the downfall of 15 percent of the renters surveyed. Saving money doesn't mean you can't ever buy yourself anything. In fact, if you don't allow yourself some fun, you're more likely to break down and go on a spending spree. The key is to give yourself a limit by including monthly indulgences in your budget.
Find Some Free Fun
Going to bars and restaurants gets expensive. Just ask the 6 percent of renters who said socializing is the hardest part of saving money. There are plenty of things you can do with your significant other or friends for little or no money at all. Consider hosting a board game night or potluck dinner, getting active outside with a bike ride or hike, or attending a free community event. With a little creativity, you can have a good time without draining your bank account.
Find Some Budgeting Assistance
If you're just not good at budgeting, like the 4 percent of the renters reported in the survey, you're in luck. There are plenty of free online resources to help—and some even do the work for you. One good go-to budgeting helper is Mint.com, a highly-trusted, secure website where you can link your bank, credit cards, loans and investments, so you can see all of your accounts in one place. In addition to helping you stay on top of your finances, the site will also help you set and reach your financial goals of someday being able to buy a Columbia SC home of your very own.
For more tips on home buying, see our Columbia SC Home Buyer Tips section under the Columbia SC Real Estate Categories to your right.
Even with this full-fledged seller's market underway, many Columbia SC home buyers are running from some listings.
Call them turnoff listings, or whatever you want to call them. For one reason or another, Columbia SC home buyers are turned off by these homes. Often times it's due to being overpriced, excessive restrictions on access to even seeing the homes, owners not willing to make repairs, or a variety of other selling mistakes.
Nationally, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of all new listings take 90 days or more to sell, 22 percent take six to 12 months, and 9 percent take more than a year.
Why Columbia SC Home Buyers Run From Some And Not Others?
More often than not, the root problem is the owners of the property. We see homes being sabotaged by owners all the time.
Sabotaged? Not intentionally, but by "doing things or not doing things that would make the house easier to sell." Demanding an unrealistically high asking price — and refusing to negotiate on lower but qualified offers — is the top turnoff for many would-be Columbia SC home buyers.
Imposing severe restrictions on when and by whom the house can be shown is another. For example, sellers who will only allow showings between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturdays, or who require a 24-hour advance notice before appointments to show during the week, or who won't let anyone in unless they or the listing agent are present, inevitably delay offers and sales. In short, making it nearly impossible for Columbia SC home buyers to even see their home.
Other Big Turnoffs For Columbia SC Home Buyers:
- Poorly cleaned, messy houses with obvious deferred maintenance.
- Sellers who insist on being present — or hover nearby — when shoppers visit so they can point out every feature they improved or like. Better for sellers to be out of the house or out of sight.
- Odors in the house that are either bad — especially from dogs, cats and other pets — or come across as cover-ups, such as scented candles, potpourri plug-ins, etc. When buyers encounter obviously artificial smells they wonder: What are the owners covering up?
Just because homes are selling fast in the Columbia SC area doesn't mean yours will. You've got to think of it as a product you're marketing, not just as your home. Get it in shape to sell. Price it realistically. Be flexible and cooperative on showings and negotiations. Unless your home has features that really put off potential Columbia SC home buyers like costly physical defects, ugly design, bad location or bad schools, your property should sell in today's market.