Experts and economists agree, Columbia SC home values are expected to end 2013 up an average of 4.6 percent, and rise cumulatively by 22 percent over the next 5 years. These percentage increases come from a nationwide panel of economists, real estate experts and market professionals in every market, not just the Columbia SC market.
Columbia SC Home Values Expected to Continue Upward
Survey respondents predicted Columbia SC home values will rise another 4.2 percent on average in 2014, before moderating somewhat to annual appreciation rates between 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017. On average, panelists predicted Columbia SC home values to rise 4.1 percent annually from 2013 through 2017, exceeding the pre-housing bubble (1987-1999) average annual appreciation rate of 3.6 percent.
This is the first time the predicted average annual growth rate for the next five years has surpassed pre-bubble levels since the survey's inception three years ago. "The panel is quite bullish on home prices near-term, considering a pre-bubble average appreciation rate of 3.6 percent per year," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "That said, their expectations are a bit shy of the home value gains of 5.5 percent that we saw in 2012, implying some moderation in the pace of gains. The panel expectations are consistent with continued strong growth in Columbia SC home values this year. This is being fueled by tighter-than-normal inventory of homes for-sale and robust demand attributable to high affordability and a stronger general economy."
The most optimistic group of panelists predicted a 6.1 percent increase in Columbia SC home values in 2013, on average, while the most pessimistic predicted an average increase of 3 percent. Through 2017, panelists predicted cumulative home value changes of 22 percent, on average. Expectations for cumulative home value change projections ranged from 34.2 percent among the most optimistic quartile to 11.7 percent among the most pessimistic, on average.
The first quarter 2013 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey asked the panel to indicate their view of a reasonable timeframe for "winding-down" government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The majority of panelists (59 percent) indicated that a reasonable and appropriate timeframe for winding-down the GSEs is within the next five years. On the opposite ends of the spectrum, 13 percent suggested a timeframe within the next two years, and 10 percent said they believe a period of more than 10 years is sensible.
For more real estate related news articles, check out the Columbia SC Real Estate News section under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories to your right.
If you're thinking of doing some Columbia SC home improvements, depending on the level of the improvements, you may need to consider hiring a contractor to do the job. There are several steps we recommend when looking for contractors.
Columbia SC Home Improvements – Finding the Right Contractor
It may seem a bit ridiculous to even mention this, but you need to know exactly what you want to have done. The more information you have available for the contractors, the better. Only by knowing specifically (down to the last detail) what you want to have done will you be able to compare bids from different contractors for the same work.
If you're getting a bid from one contractor, then have a second or third contractor bid something different, even slightly, then you're not going to know who really offers the best price on your Columbia SC home improvements.
Columbia SC Home Improvements – Forget the Yellow Pages
Try to get personal referrals, rather than relying on the phone book. If you have a friend or a relative who had some work done on their home they were pleased with, that's a great starting point. You can get some honest feedback about the contractor's skill level, price, scheduling, level of cooperation, and much more. There are a lot of contractors out there to choose from, and, like most businesses, they succeed or fail mostly by their reputation, so a good referral is very helpful.
If you see some work going on down the street, stop and talk to the homeowner. Most people are more than willing to share their experiences — good and bad — about the contractor they've hired, and here again you can get some great firsthand information.
If you're planning some Columbia SC home improvements, some other good sources of referrals include real estate agents, insurance agents, property managers, your utility company, and your local building department.
Detail Your Columbia SC Home Improvements In Writing
Have a written contract that describes all the details of your agreement with the contractor, including materials to be used, a description of what's to be done, beginning and completion dates, price, and a payment schedule. Never pay in full upfront, even if you're offered a discount. Make a reasonable down payment if it's requested, typically no more than 20 percent, then make payments as the job progresses. The payments should be tied to specific completions, such as completion of frame inspection, completion of final inspection, or something else that you can easily verify.
We have other tips and articles about Columbia SC home improvements under our Columbia SC Real Estate Categories to your right.
The idea of selling your Columbia SC home and moving to a new property – whether it's bigger, smaller, newer or simply in a different area altogether – can be an exciting one. However it also brings with it a wide range of costs to bare. Selling your Columbia SC home can be a lot more expensive than you think.
Here we have focused on the main areas you need to be aware of in terms of cost. Being aware of them means you can prepare for them in advance, instead of being surprised by a cost you hadn't even considered.
Fees for Selling Your Columbia SC Home
Fees (aka: commission) are usually charged as a percentage of the sale price of your home. They are usually around five to seven per cent. So if your home sells for $250,000 and your real estate company charges 5%, you can expect to pay them $12,500. However if you sell for $250,000 and your real estate company charges 7%, this fee would go up to $17,500. Find out what fees you will be charged and work out a ballpark figure accordingly, based on the asking price for your home.
Legal Fees for Selling Your Columbia SC Home
Selling your Columbia SC home means you will incur legal fees. The good news is these fees are generally lower than they would be if you were buying a house (although of course if you are moving you will incur these on your new property too). However they can still amount to several hundred dollars, so you should make sure you allocate funds to cover these fees, also known as "closing costs."
Moving Costs When Selling Your Columbia SC Home
Moving costs can vary depending on the distance you'll have to travel to get from your old home to your new one, as well as the amount of furniture and boxes that need to be moved.
Different firms charge different amounts so you should shop around to get some quotes. Be prepared to spend anything from several hundred dollars for a local move, to thousands of dollars, depending on the amount of furniture and boxes you're moving and the distance to your new home. If you're planning to make the move yourself (with a little help from some friends), check on the cost of renting a truck from your old home to your new one.
Add to the cost of the move the time you'll need to take off from work to actually move. This needs to be factored into the costs for your move. In some cases you will need to take more than one day off, depending on what needs to be done and how far you are moving.
Costs To Fix Up Your Home
Not all properties are in ideal selling condition. If your house could do with some TLC, you may wish to invest some money in bringing it up to a reasonable standard before putting it on the market. This is optional, but if you don't invest some money in doing this you will be far less likely to get the selling price you're asking. Furthermore it may take a lot longer to sell your home than it would if it was in better condition.
As you can see there are many costs involved in selling your Columbia SC home. You will have additional costs incurred with buying a new home too, so it makes sense to jot everything down to get a rough figure so nothing comes as a surprise. You may not have much control over the fees and costs incurred with selling your Columbia SC home, but you can at least prepare for them ahead of time.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of Columbia SC short sales to beleaguered homeowners facing default and foreclosure is the opportunity to move on with life and put the bad debt behind them as quickly as possible.
Typically, Columbia SC short sales take longer to sell than normal home sales or foreclosures because of the time required for the parties-lender, buyer, seller-to respond. In the past waiting 6-18 months was common, now we find the process taking about 3-4 months if you are aggressively on top of everything.
Improved Columbia SC short sales management systems and lenders more willing to settle for a short sale than foreclosure has helped the transition and sped up the process. By comparison, as processing times and backlogged inventories continued to plague foreclosure markets last year, 2012 was proclaimed the “year of the short sale” and short sale inventories skyrocketed.
Columbia SC Short Sales Selling Slower Than Some Foreclosures
Now there are so many Columbia SC short sales on the market they are selling slower than foreclosures that have made it through processing, as well as “normal” sales. Demand is considerably less for short sales among investors, especially the institutional investors who are having a major impact on some markets, and as a result they are selling at a discount about equal or even greater than foreclosures.
Last year, nationwide, short sales of homes that had never entered the foreclosure process accounted for 22 percent of all US homes sales, more than all REOs and sales of pre-foreclosure properties combined, according to RealtyTrac.
As volumes of Columbia SC short sales grew, so did their discounts from normal prices and their time on market. Last month, the median time on the market for single family homes was 74 days in February, up from 71 in January according to the National Association of Realtors. Short sales had a median of 101 days on market, up from 94 in January. Foreclosures (REOs) were on the market for a median of 52 days, up from 47 days in January.
In December, when demand was lower, the differences were even more pronounced. Columbia SC short sales had the longest days on market with a median of 117 days. Foreclosures were on the market for a median of 45 days (60 days last year), while the median days on the market for non-distressed properties was 74 days (106 days last year).
Perhaps an answer to the problem Columbia SC short sales are having lies with the changing nature of demand for distressed properties with the bulk purchases of foreclosures, especially pre-foreclosures, by some institutional investors. Reports of single sales of thousands of properties are not uncommon, especially in markets where hedge funds are most active.
Are Columbia SC short sales still the shortest solution? For starters, compare NAR’s 74 day median time on market for February with RealtyTrac’s national average of 414 days to process a foreclosure and NAR’s 52 days to sell them. So in most places, short sales are still the less painful option.
We have more information pertaining to Columbia SC short sales and foreclosures under our Columbia SC Mortgage Info section in the Columbia SC Real Estate Categories to your right.
There’s strong evidence that the Columbia SC housing market is roaring back. Homes are selling faster than they have in over 3 years, and this trend seems to be breaking out all over the country. ABC’s Diane Sawyer has the story…
Are there any other special features you’re looking for in a home other than those Diane mentioned at the end of her story? Tell us in the comment box below.
For more on the Columbia SC housing market, check out our articles and updates found under Columbia SC Real Estate Articles in the Columbia SC Real Estate News section, as well as the Columbia SC Real Estate Category.