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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Condo CanDo's Weekly Wrap by the Numbers

April 26, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Our Weekly Wrap by the Numbers

This has been a lovely spring…rain by showers and rain by thunderstorms and early morning fog and rain. We measure the rain by inches, last year and this year, the lowest and the highest, the longest and the shortest. We count.

And the other numbers we look at are where we are in the country. As real estate goes we are in the top markets and the only one with a small percentage of appreciation. And yes, the Charlotte market is off but still perking. One problem we have is folks coming from other parts of the country can’t sell what they have to buy here.

And what about those coming to Charlotte?The Mecklenburg Times, our Business and Court Newspaper have a great article about where Charlotte has been and where Charlotte is going according to snapshots from the Census.

Where we have been:
2000 CensusMecklenburg County Population 695,454
Charlotte Population 540,824
National Rank 26th
Metro-area Population: 1.33 Million
National rank: 37th
Rate of growth for metro area in the 90’s:29%
Where we are going:
Projections for 2010 from recent Census Bureau estimates:
Mecklenburg County Population: 940,614
Charlotte Population 668,900
National rank: Top 20
Metro-area population:1.79 million
National Rank: Top 33
Rate of growth for metro area in the 2000’s: 34%

Tony Crumbley, vice president of research for the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Office thinks a lot of businesses move here for similar reasons, one of the biggest being their desire to build a workforce based on Charlotte’s pool of available labor. He thinks this market is growth-oriented, young and diverse. Further, he says Charlotte has the second highest migration (nationally) of young, educated people between 25 and 30 with a college degree. He adds, “I’d put us in the category of a flower about to bloom-we’ve seen nothing yet, but we’re just now budding and the growth potential here is phenomenal. We’ve just been discovered.”

And while that is the good news by the numbers, the downside is residents are frustrated about crime. For the first three months of 2008, violent crime rose 15.3 percent and property crime rose 11.9 percent compared with the same three months in 2007. And residents from neighborhoods across the city are coming together within Neighbors for a Safer Charlotte. For more information about the grassroots organization, go to

Thanks for joining us. This is

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady,Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday: It's Condo CanDo Q/A Day

April 25, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Friday is Q/A Day on Condo CanDo’s schedule. Here Goes:

Q1. Do you have other links relating to Radon?( Re: Latta Pavilion Is Sick feature)
A1. Yes and here they are:
We received this with the article from the Wall St. Journal on Radon.
Links are included in podcast as well on our blog…and of course, there’s Condo CanDo and they are posted there as well under “Blog”.
Q2.How will condo foreclosures affect a complex overall?
Complex answer in a way. Foreclosures are just a part of the problem. Units without owners are not paying HOA dues.This might further distance mortgage investors.
Q3. What is the status of the condominium The Park? Stalled or stopped?
It would appear the project is on hold because of unpaid bills according to a recent report from the Business Journal.
Q4. How do you feel about the announcement of so many apartment projects where there were once condominium projects talked about?
Apartments are probably cheaper to build than condominiums and I’ll be willing to bet that we will see these apartment projects convert to condominiums once the market turns. That is an interesting financial scenario isn’t it?
Q5. Is Centex going ahead with their development on West Tyvola and Tyvola Center Drive? Preliminary plans called for as many as 248 residential units plus commercial space.
Plans have been dropped, the contract terminated and a rezoning petition to support the project has been withdrawn.
Q6. You wrote about the number of cranes in the uptown area. How many are there really?
Twenty eight in all.

Saturday is our wrap up day usually. So until tomorrow, this is

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Believe in Asking for Help

April 24, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

I Believe in Asking for Help

As you know by now, I read a lot. I read a lot to learn about the opinions of others, both clear sighted and obtuse. The daily papers, the business journal, the hip-hop weekly, reams of professional newsletters, association magazines, reports from every corner be they mortgage or bank, builder and developer, real estate statistics from around the country and in our own fair city, Charlotte. I read a lot.

This is what I believe. The housing bubble is a mess. The causes are becoming clearer. It seems it was and is a house of cards. I have learned more about foreclosure that I ever would have thought, about the processes and the lack of processes, about short sales, about mortgage brokers and bankers, about abandoned homes, boarded up houses, communities in trouble. People blaming and being blamed. Recently I am reading about how it is a good time for investors to buy because prices are lower and interest rates are lower. Some of the articles are pretty basic. Some of the How To’s are for sale either in book form, or conference calls or DVD’s. And the part of our culture that turns a mess into an opportunity is beginning to take shape. Some will profit from the mess. Some will be scared for a long time. And some will be somewhat unscathed. But we are all feeling the uncertainty. Even me.And I think that what I would want is for people to learn to ask for help. And maybe what I want is for the banks and mortgage investors and mortgage service companies and mortgage insurance companies to begin calling their clients and asking how are you doing? Do you think you will need help? We need your help in letting us know before it gets to foreclosure or short sale. We want you to stay in your home and we want you to know we are here to help. I want these professional people to set up a giant call center and begin calling everyone who has a mortgage. Everyone. Every sinle one. And ask those questions. And maybe, just maybe, we can stop the fear and start rebuilding trust.
I believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I believe we can all ask for help.
And I believe now is the time.

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Short Sale. How's It Going?

April 23, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

I read a good bit to keep up with all the changes all the time. I thought this an interesting article to follow the preceding one on foreclosures.

Here goes:Daily Real Estate News April 17, 2008
Why Lenders Balk at Short Sales The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says 18 percent of home transactions are now short sales, though experts point out that lenders are reluctant to approve such deals. Research from Clayton Holdings Inc. indicates that lenders lose only 19 percent of the loan amount on average with a short sale, compared to 40 percent on a traditional foreclosure sale. However, short sales require approvals from primary lenders, servicers, investors, and home-equity lenders--a process that can take several months to complete. Mortgage servicers blame delays on staff shortages resulting from the unexpected rise in problem loans, and Mortgage Bankers Association Senior Director Vicki Vidal points out that pricing also poses a challenge because buyers are making low-ball offers on distressed properties. While servicers prefer repayment plans and modifications to short sales, the process is getting easier for borrowers who are encountering financial difficulties but continue to make timely payments. Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both are taking steps to speed up the process, with Fannie Mae looking to make acceptable minimum prices known beforehand and Freddie Mac giving servicers more leeway in approving short sales.
Source: Wall Street Journal, Ruth Simon and James Hagerty (04/17/08)
More discussion on foreclosures and short sales in the mix.
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Are Foreclosures A Buy?

April 22, 2008

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC
This from AP Money and Markets :
Are Foreclosures a buy?Speculators fled the real estate market in 2006 when home prices began falling sharply. But a new type of investor is looking to make money in the battered housing market by buying foreclosures-and he or she may be on to something.The bank that owns a foreclosed home is looking to recover the value of the home’s unpaid mortgage, and quickly. That presents an opportunity to get a property below market value. “You can double your money if you buy and hold for ten years”, says Ralph Roberts, a Detroit area broker and author of “Foreclosure Investing for Dummies. “Interest rates are low and prices are low. Now is a good time to buy.” He says most foreclosure buyers get properties for between 75 percent and 90 percent of market value.
Roberts advises buying a property near your workplace or current home. After looking at several, go with the best deal. “Don’t negotiate with the bank-make an offer and then go dark,” he says. If you buy at auction, the full price is often required at the event, or soon after, so be prepared with the payment.
Buying foreclosures is not without risk. “Just because it’s in foreclosure doesn’t mean it’s a bargain,” Roberts says. Things to look out for: Don’t buy in a market with too many foreclosed homes-no more than a few in any area. Also, regular maintenance likely wasn’t done, so there may be substantial costs beyond the purchase price.
And don’t trust late night TV gurus-there are scams aplenty. “Many are simply very good sales people who know how to push your buttons to extract a tremendous amount of money out of you,” says Alexis McGee of She lists several well-known schemes on her Web site.
“Get a good agent, a good lawyer, good inspector and do your homework,” Roberts says. Then start checking the foreclosure listings.

Tomorrow: Follow Up on Short Sales

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte NC

Monday, April 21, 2008

Radon on my Radar, Again in the News

April 21, 2008

Radon Is The Number One cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and one in fifteen homes has an elevated level prior to treatment according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

My Radar is on Radon…More Follow Up Since The Business Journal’s Report on Latta Pavilion Is Sick…Thanks to one of our followers we received an article from the Wall St. Journal.
I include the highlights.Here is the link to the article:
Wall Street Journal About The House
Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC

The EPA estimates 750,000 to 1 million U.S. Homeowners have taken radon-reduction steps over the years and says those steps, along with techniques in new construction have helped prevent 6,000 deaths.Despite the risks, radon until recently has ranked pretty low on many homeowner’s action lists. You can’t see, smell or taste it, which makes it-unlike mold- easy to ignore. The federal government recommends but doesn’t mandate remediation for homes with elevated levels. But as homeowners and builders rush to make dwellings healthier on all fronts-from non-toxic paints and organic lawns to formaldehyde-free kitchen cabinets-radon is emerging as a hot button in both new construction and resales.EPA spokeswoman says it has taken time to build public awareness just as it did with smoking.

The majority of states have some form of disclosure law requiring the home seller to inform the buyer about property defects, such as radon-but only if the seller knows about them. Many experts believe this discourages testing and say a better model is an Illinois law that took effect this year. It requires sellers to provide information about radon risk, whether the home has been tested or not.Can’t see it, smell it, taste it…Radon.

Lynnsy Logue The Real Estate Lady and Condo CanDo in Charlotte, NC