The Real Estate Market In Charleston South Carolina Preparing For Appraisals Contracts And Comps 5 General Trends In The California Real Estate Market To Watch 2006 The Quest For A Perfect Apartment Lancaster Atrium Preconstruction Studio Condos For Sale

If you are looking to live in a historic southern city with a ton or charm, Charleston may be your answer. Sitting on the South Carolina cost, the real estate market is primed for growth.

The Real Estate Market in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is located at roughly the mid point of the South Caroline coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and has a population of just under 100,000 people.

A city with a lot of history, Charleston has an old south feel with all the amenities you would expect in a modern city.

The average Charleston home sells for about $180,000, a figure that more or less matches the national average. Home appreciation rates are a bit below national averages, but still a healthy 7.4 percent. More importantly, the appreciation rate may be primed to increase dramatically over the next few years. The reason for this is job growth.

Any real estate market is heavily influenced by job growth in the local economy. The more job growth, the more demand there will be for workers. As more people move into the area to fill that demand, the higher home prices will go. Currently, Charleston is experiencing strong job growth. More importantly, the growth rate is expected to be nearly four times as high as the national average for the next four years. This signifies the beginning of a strong real estate market for Charleston properties.

The City of Charleston is a pleasant place because of the coastline location. It also offers the basic amenities you would need living in any city. Schools meet or exceed most national averages with higher education being particularly strong. Health costs are about equal to the national average, but you will find nearly twice as many doctors in Charleston. If you are going to have a health problem, this is the place.

The climate in Charleston is fairly mild since it is located on the ocean. You can expect summer temperatures to top out in the low nineties, while winter temperatures can be in the forties. You are going to get rain about 30 percent of the time with 50 inches being the annual average.

All and all, Charleston is a good place to live and the real estate market looks stable with robust growth on the horizon.

You’ve sold your home and are getting ready for the appraisal. Here’s how contracts and comparable home sales impact the appraisal.

Your Contract

One of the indications of value an appraiser takes into consideration is the contract that exists between unrelated parties for the sale and purchase of the home. As odd as this may sound, sales between relatives often downgrade an appraisal amount. So if you’re not selling your home to a relative, make a nice clean copy of your contract, and give it to the appraiser who appraises your home.

Comparable Sales

In general, when you are selling your primary residence, the person buying it is going to make it his primary residence, too. An appraisal done in that situation usually gives the most value to what similar houses have sold for in the same neighborhood (or nearby) recently, and doesn’t pay much attention to the ability of the property to generate rental income or to what it would cost to replace it.

Therefore, the appraiser is going to be looking for homes which have sold in your area in the past few months. If you know of a sale of a similar home at a good price, tell the appraiser about it. Make sure your information is accurate first, however. Don’t just share neighborhood gossip. Check the sales price at the courthouse.

Be careful how you handle these last two suggestions. You want to come across as quietly helpful and factual. You do not want to convey to the appraiser that you question his ability to do his job well.

Historically, the real estate trends of California have always been the precursors for the rest of the country. Which is why leading players of the real estate market keep a close watch on the Golden State’s real estate market conditions.

And whether you are a first time homebuyer, debating the viability of building your dream house in San Bernardino, or a real estate investor looking to sell condominium units in Los Angeles, you certainly want to know: When is it the optimum time to buy or sell?

Purchasing a house is a major investment. With judicious planning, this valuable asset will appreciate with each year.

But how do you get the big picture? Fortunately, real estate trends are predictable because these develop over a long period, unlike the stock market, which is rather volatile.

The first thing you will need to do is to read and track real estate articles: the market reports of the California Association of Realtors or the California Building Industry Association, and the briefs created by housing analyst companies.

Once you have identified the following key indicators you will have a better grasp of the general trends in California’s real estate market.


Interest Rates

When interest rates rise, buyers shy away. Conversely, lowered interest rates attract more buyers.

This year, interest rates in California are on an upswing. For example, thirty-year fixed mortgage rates, which averaged 5.71 percent in 2005, has risen to 6 percent levels in January 2006. And adjustable mortgage interest rates have moved up to 5 percent levels compared to 4.12 percent in 2005.

Building Permits

The higher the number of building permits issued, the higher the demand for houses.

Figures show that number of building permits issued for the year 2006, have fallen by 10 percent in comparison to last year’s figures. In terms of houses, that’s a decrease of 1,430 building permits compared to January 2005 figures, according to California Building Industry Association report.

Home Sales

This key indicator refers to the total number of homes sold. In the law of supply and demand, when there are few buyers, real estate prices fall.

The January 2006 figures of the California Association of Realtors reveal that the number of existing single-family detached homes sold, has gone down by 24.1 percent in comparison to sales for the entire year 2005.

Another factor to consider is the growing inventory of available houses in certain counties in California, which is changing the market dynamics. What was once a sellers market is slowly turning into a buyers market.

Loan Defaults

This refers to the failure of homeowners to pay their monthly mortgage fees. One downside to this is that many Californian homeowners are choosing to have a bad credit report, rather than to keep paying fees for a home whose value has been inflated by as much as 20 percent more.

Foreclosure Sales

Figures presented by DataQuick Information Systems, a housing analyst company, indicate that foreclosure activities in California have gone up by 19 percent in the last quarter of 2005. This is an increase of 3 percent compared to the third quarter of 2005, and is 4.6 percent higher when compared to 2004’s last quarter figures.

When foreclosure sales are on an upswing, consumer spending is down and consumer debt levels have risen. In the real estate market, this has meant that many financially strapped homeowners are selling their homes at lower prices. The other contributable factors are inflation, the rising prices of gasoline, federal budget deficit, and interest rates.

Concurrently, these key indicators confirm that although home sales levels in California are falling, the demand for houses remains strong and steady. Always do your due diligence before undertaking a purchase of property in California.

The search for the perfect apartment need not be an ordeal. If you go about the process systematically, then you will find the most convenient as well as perfect apartment. The first step is to jot down answers to practical aspects like how big should the apartment be. What size of rooms do I need for my furniture? Do I need one bedroom or more? Do I need parking? Should there be a park/school nearby?

Study a map of the city you are going to live in and locate where your place of work is. Then study the residential possibilities in and around that area. Or decide, I don’t want to be near work but in a beautiful, healthy, and safe environment. Next, work out your finances. Decide how much rent you can afford and whether you can give a substantial deposit.

Keep a watch out for “apartments available” classifieds in the newspapers and magazines and, spread the word around that you are looking for a place. Tell the people at work, the grocer, newspaper boy, as well as local agents (however you will need to pay their charges). Be innovative and take a drive around areas you have short listed as “possibilities” and look for signs that indicate there are places for rent.

View the apartments in the day time. Ask others who live in the building or area what their experience has been. Read through the agreement carefully and check whether the electricity, heaters, and air conditioners are working and whether the plumbing is functional.

Check things like is there a separate entrance, enough closets, does the building have washer/dryer facilities, what about cable TV and internet, and are pets and children welcome, what are the rules to be followed by tenants? Check how you feel about the apartment. Think do you see yourself living here? Do the windows have a view or do they look into other homes.

Be vigilant and check the condition of the building, what are the hallways and surroundings like, is there any garbage dump close by? Are windows safe and secure, does the building have adequate security, what are the nearby amenities, are you to pay for utilities or is it included in the rent?

In order to establish your credentials as a suitable tenant you will need to show the landlord a credit evaluation, your pay stub, or tax return, one or two references, as well as give a small introduction of yourself explaining where you are from, where you work, how many people will live at the apartment and so on.

The key to success is not to overspend and keep to your budget. Rent should ideally not exceed one quarter of the monthly income. Ensure that the neighborhood is safe and has everything you need close by. Always do comparison shopping. Have a clear idea of what rents are in the neighborhood. Be careful and check the apartment and neighborhood out at least three times at different times in the day.

Be sure the lease protects your rights as well as that of the landlord. Find out what rules would apply if for some reason you need to break the lease before it runs out. A place must give you a feeling of warmth and welcome and ideally the neighbors must be friendly.

To be completed and ready for turnover from December 2010, the Lancaster Suites Manila Atrium Tower II will provide unit owners with premier residential condo units with option of enrolling their units in the Lancaster Condotel Rental Pool.

Great Investment for Fil-Am’s whom visit Manila for Vacations or Business as they can earn Rental Incomes [at current purchase levels] of some 12-14% ROI per annum as Owner Non-Residents when not using their units through Condotel Management and reciprocal arrangement with Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences. This makes Lancaster Suites one of the Hottest Investment Opportunities in the Philippines.

Units at the Lancaster Suites have basic kitchen facilities. The standard unit price [Option 2 – Semi Fitted Suites] provides for the suite to be semi-finished but not fully furnished or fitted. Included in the current standard basic price for the ‘Semi-Fitted’ units are the interior finishing’s such as tiled & fitted bathrooms, bedrooms with simulated wood plank flooring, semi-fitted living and dining area tiled floorings and lower kitchen cabinets/work tops installed. Ceilings and walls are painted cement finish.

Units are also available on a Bare Unfinished basis [Option 1 – Bare Unfinished Units] for clients intending to fit-out their own suites or avail of the Condotel completion at a later date.

A complete Condotel Suite optional extra interior fit-out package including unit fixtures and fittings, furniture’s, furnishings, light fittings and fixtures and appliances including air-conditioning will be available towards the time the units are closer to being completed towards the latter part of 2010. Monthly condo dues are currently around 80 pesos/square meter of the unit floor area/month.

Executive Studio Deluxe Suites [Option 2 – Semi Fitted Suites]

Price Effective: May 25, 2007. Prices Quoted in Philippine Pesos [PHP]

Lancaster Atrium Tower A Executive Deluxe Studio Suites. Average Floor Area 32.50 square meters [350sqft] at -Php-75,888.00/sqm. -Php-2,466,360.00. These units are either facing towards Ortigas Center overlooking Pasig towards Laguna de Bay and Antipolo or overlooking Mandaluyong, Makati and towards Manila Bay or Swimming Pool Deck. All units within the Lancaster Suites Manila Atrium. The Current Offer for a Studio Suite provides that it may be purchased with Reservation -Php-25,000.00 and Balance Payable without interest over 72 consecutive equal monthly payments of -Php-33,907.78.

Alternatively Save -Php-146,481.92 by making Reservation -Php-25,000.00 then within 30 days a 30% Net Discounted Down Payment of -Php-585,926.40 and Balance payable without interest over 72 consecutive equal monthly payments of -Php-23,735.44.

Lancaster Atrium Executive Deluxe Studio Suites are also available on affordable and competitive New Payment Plan that provides for Executive Suites to be purchased on a No Interest No Down Payment basis with 67% of the payment payable over 60 equal consecutive monthly installments without interest and the 33% balance of the contract price payable upon turnover of the unit or to be paid over an additional 5 years from turnover through our hassle free no prequalification “In-House” Finance Plans…

Pay -Php-25,000.00 Reservation for a 32.50sqm [350sqft Executive Studio [Contract Price -Php-2,466,360.00] then 60 consecutive monthly payments of -Php-27,261.85 with the balance of -Php-805,648.80 either payable in cash on turnover or to be financed over another 60 months payment plan…..

Cash Payment option, take 20% discount [Save -Php-493,272.00] make Reservation [-Php-25,000.00] and within 30 days pay 90% [-Php-1,753,279.20] the remaining 10% [-Php-194,808.80] on unit turnover from December 2010

Lancaster Atrium Semi Fitted Studio Suites may now be Purchased on 12 Year Payment Plan Options

The New Twelve [12] Year Payment Plan provides for Executive Studio [Semi Fitted] Suites to be purchased with a Reservation of only -Pph-25,000.00 for a 32.50sqm [350sqft] Studio [Contract Price -Pph-2,466,360.00] then 48 consecutive monthly payments of only -Pph-17,801.58 [No Interest for the first 4 years]. During the first 4 years there is an Annual Lump Sum payable on the anniversary of the reservation date of -Pph-91,551.00 and thereafter continue the 96 consecutive monthly payments of -Pph-24,075.73 to complete the balance of the purchase price.

All Lancaster [Semi-Fitted Option 2] Residential Suites Unit Features Include:

* Vitrified ceramic tiles in living, dining areas

* Ceramic tiles in kitchen and toilet and bath

* Toilets with mechanical ventilation

* Plastered cement walls and ceilings’ with painted finishes

* Provisions for split type air-conditioners

For a Copy of the Lancaster Suites Slide Show Presentation…

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