lake norman real estate

The Preserve at Robbins Park in Lake Norman…Not your ordinary new housing community!

Lake Norman new community Robbins Park

From home to neighborhood, The Preserve at Robbins Park is your oasis of timeless luxury surrounded by the quiet of forest in the midst of the most exciting and active part of Lake Norman.

 The Preserve at Robbins Park  was originally the brain child of Simonini Homes back in 2008/2009.  However, during the recession Simonini closed down and the community stalled with just a few home built.

In the Fall of 2010, Classica Homes took over Robbins Park  which is now a thriving community that still embraces the original concepts  including forward thinking architecture designed by Nationally  renowned Bassenian Lagoni Architects, Energy Star certification, and their balance of a commitment to the preservation of nature with the tranquility of a home.  You can expect open floor-plans, great use of space plus gorgeous finishes in every home. They just announced that Phase III will be open September 2014.

What a great opportunity to help design your own state-of-the-art home in a community where nature trails wander through a beautifully wooded preserve, centered around the serenity of Robbins Park pond. Meet your friends at Robbins Park’s Crescent where children spend hours at the playground and children of all ages enjoy recreation at the play fields. You’ll find tennis lovers happily using two lighted courts within walking distance of home. Still to come are more park lands and athletic fields. Imagine all this adjacent to your private neighborhood, plus the connection of a greenway trail for hours of biking and hiking.

They recently even hired Dearness Gardens in Huntersville to design and install a butterfly garden!

To find out the latest news, go on their Robbins Park Blog and/or go to their comprehensive website to view the different models available and details about each home design features as well as the wonderful options you have to make your home your own oasis!

Robins Park is a joint venture with the Town of Cornelius, Mecklenburg County and Westmoreland Lake LLC.  To see an overview of the entire development simply click on this link to the Town of Cornelius’s  Robins Park page.

Imagine living where you can enjoy a walk by the pond and then follow the natural walking path to the Paved McDowell Creek Greenway.  The Greenway’s secret is that this peaceful  path leads to the very popular Birkdale Village!

Learn More About Life in Lake Norman

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

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Lake Norman Real Estate News: Foreclosures, Mortgage Delinquencies and More!

 Prompted by a great article I read today on Forbes.com:   The Foreclosure Fallacy  I decided it was time once again for me to tackle the ever growing pile of information, mostly about our national and Lake Norman housing market, that is in a stack on my desk I call “Blog Topics”.  Most of these are not worthy of their own post so I will share a quick summary of a number of them here at one time:

National:

  •  The Foreclosure Fallacy  is wonderful in its simplicity.  In one short article they touch on all of the major issues related to foreclosures from the risks involved to the sage advice from one Detroit area broker:  “Don’t be too picky.  A lot of houses will need work.”  I have mentioned in previous posts the importance of being willing to “compromise” if you are search for a bargain.  So true!
  • Standard & Poors: Modifications and Slower Foreclosures Shrink Shadow Inventory article in the Wall Street Journal was one of many referencing the release of Standard & Poor’s  yearly report.  (S&P defines shadow inventory as properties with borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent on their mortgage payments).  One disconcerting figure in this article:  “The time it takes for a lender to foreclose on a borrower has lengthened—from about 20 months to about 40—”. The amount of Shadow Inventory here in Lake Norman is one of the biggest unknowns that keeps home-buyers uncertain about when to move forward with a purchase.
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association released a report today, February 18th, that says that the percentage of mortgage holders who are behind in their payments dropped to the lowest number in two years in the fourth quarter of 2010.  “While delinquency and foreclosure rates are still well above historical norms, we have clearly turned the corner in the foreclosure crisis” according to MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkman in a statement.
  • There have been numerous articles recently about the death of the “McMansion Era”.  According to both the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders the “median sized home being built today is smaller” and the future trends will be towards smaller, more energy efficient homes. Will the 8000 sq ft+ homes on Lake Norman one day be obsolete?  Probably not but it will be interesting to watch!

Local: Continue reading

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business News Update July 2010

 

 

Every once-in-a-while I write an eclectic article for my readers with miscellaneous business and real estate news that has accumulated in a stack by my desk.  Here is just such an update!

North Carolina and Lake Norman Area Business:

  • North Carolina ranks fourth in CNBC’s recent survey:  America’s Top States for Business:  The Charlotte Business Journal ran an article on July 13th.
  • The Palm City Florida based firm Policom recently ranked the Statesville-Mooresville area 15th among 576 Micropolitans nationwide in terms of economic strength according to a recent article in The Statesville Record and Landmark Newspaper.
  • Today’s Mooresville Tribune says that the Iredell County jobless rate dropped to 11.6%
  • Lennar,one of the nation’s leading home-builders, recently announced that they will be building town-homes in a brand new community in Cornelius adjacent to Harborside.  It will be called Harborside At Lake Norman

Continue reading

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lake norman real estate

New Home Buyer Tax Credit Confusion Addressed by IRS

 

According to a recent update I received from the National Association of Home Builders, two scenarios since the extension of the First-Time Home Buyer tax credit and the creation of the repeat home buyer tax credit have risen and been addressed by the IRS:

“With the addition of the second tax credit, there may now be a situation in which two unmarried buyers purchase a residence together where one qualifies for the $6,500 repeat buyer credit and the other qualifies for the $8,000 credit. According to the IRS, they must allocate the tax credit in a meaningful manner. The repeat buyer cannot receive a tax credit higher than $6,500 and the total amount claimed by both buyers cannot exceed $8,000. For example, the repeat home buyer could claim $6,500 and the first-time home buyer could claim $1,500. Alternatively, both buyers could claim a $4,000 tax credit.

The second scenario involves the qualification status of married purchasers as repeat home buyers. In order to qualify for the repeat buyer tax credit, both individuals must have lived in the same residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight. If one spouse has lived in the house for five years and the other moved in later, after they were married, then they are both excluded from the repeat buyer tax credit.

This information has been updated on NAHB’s consumer tax credit Web site, which can be found at www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com.”

Continue reading

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Lake Norman Real Estate: Important Local News and New Laws!

Lake Norman and North Carolina News

The Lake Norman and National real estate trends are not the only important news to report.  In fact, there are some new laws and regulations that will probably affect nearly all readers of this blog.  I have been making a stack for quite a while so here they are!

According to a Harris Interactive poll, North Carolina is the sixth most popular state when it comes to where people want to live.  “The most popular states and cities where large numbers of people would like to live tend to attract tourists and business.  They are places where people like to take vacations and where companies like to have their offices and factories” according to a Harris news release.  Great news!

Recycle Plastic Bottles in Lake Norman

 A new law went into effect on October 1, 2009 in North Carolina outlawing plastic bottles in landfills.  (Motor oil and pesticide containers are excluded).  This means that all residents in the Lake Norman area must recycle all plastic bottles whether or not we have curbside recycling.  While this law may be hard to enforce, the spirit of the law is what is important.  As a reminder:  The City of Statesville offers curbside recycling.  The Iredell County Solid Waste Department offers five locations for recycling.  We go to the one at the intersection of Hwy 150 and the 21.  For more information:  Iredell County Recycling Coordinator Diane Lewis: 704.928.2023.  See below of link to Think Green Recycling, a private company serving Lake Norman.

Mooresville and in fact all North Carolina town residents will now be required to install a separate water meter and pay the town a fee that could cost as much as $1800 when installing new lawn irrigation systems.  This law, effective July 1, 2009, is part of Drought Control Legislation enacted to help towns enforce water restrictions.

North Carolina No smoking ban

On January 2, 2010, the state of North Carolina will ban smoking in restaurants, bars and all enclosed public places!  As a non-smoker I am thrilled to see our state join the 24 other states that have similar smoking bans.  It is particularly impressive to me, in light of the fact that our state once relied on tobacco production as its primary economic driving force.  We have come a long way baby!

Lake Norman officers patrolling the lake are increasing the number of citations for a “little known but potentially life-threatening infraction: Allowing children and guests to dangle (their arms and legs)  from the bow of their boats” according to a recent article in the Mooresville Tribune. There have been several cases of people falling off of the boat and being injured when the boats run over them or even biting one’s tongue or lips when the bow of a boat hits a large wake.

North Carolina has added additional requirements to Home Inspection Reports as of October 1, 2009.  The “Summary” section of the inspection report MUST:

  • Describe any system or component of the home that does not function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear that does not prevent the system or component from functioning as intended.
  • The summary page must also describe any system that appears not to function as intended, based upon documented tangible evidence, and that requires either substantial examination or further inspection by a specialist
  • The summary page MAY describe any system or component that poses a safety concern
  • The summary report must contain the following statement: “The Summary page is not the entire report.  The complete report may include additional information of interest or concern to you.  It is strongly recommended that you promptly read the complete report.”

Finally, the Lake Norman Fire Department is urging all homeowners to purchase a $35 sign for their docks with clearly displays the street address. This is because fire crews have had difficulty in the past finding a home from the lake.

Learn More About Life in Lake Norman:

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 1

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week:  Think Green Recycling Company 

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Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s 2nd Quarter 2009 Home Sales Analysis

If you are a regular reader of my Lake Norman Real Estate blog, you will know that I provide three different types of sales analysis:

  • 2-week snapshots called Hot Sheets for up-to-the minute Lake Norman housing data
  • Monthly sales reports which compare it to the previous year and prior month
  • Quarterly sales reports which provide two separate reports; an overview of the 2nd quarter and then a break down by price-range.

Lake Norman Real Estate's 2nd Quarter 2009 Overview

 IMPORTANT FINDINGS

  • Our current inventory of active listings has actually dropped by 11%.  While they are still too high, this is certainly a move in the right direction.
  • The number conditional sales (those that just went under contract) are dramatically higher than last year however the average price has decreased and the average days on market has increased 44%.  Please note the average sales price last year was very high due to several high sales that skewed the figure.
  • The number of pending sales (those that are ready to close) dropped by 17% but the average price and days on market are almost the same as last year.
  • The number of closed sales this past quarter dropped 23% versus the second quarter of 2008.  The average price dropped 3% but the average days a home was on the market increased by 43%.
  • Our number of months of supply of homes increased from 19.9 to 22.8.  Even though our inventory has dropped, our sales dropped even more which results in a higher number of months of supply.  As always, keep in mind that a balance housing  market should have between 6-8 months of supply so we current have three times as many homes for sale as we should have.  We are definitely still in a buyers market!  However, it is nice to see some higher numbers in conditional and pending sales.

2nd Quarter 2009 Lake Norman Home Sales By Price Range

Lake Norman 2nd Quarter 2009 Price Range

*All statistics are from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service

This report is probably the most useful for both home buyers and sellers.  This is because it enables you to focus on your own price range and size up the competition, the strengths and weaknesses and trends that might help position you best for your future purchase or sale.

For example, let’s say you are planning to buy a home in the $600,000 – $1 million price range.  While that price range in general is very weak, the homes priced in the $700,000s and the $900,000s have over twice as many months of inventory than the other price ranges.  Knowing these are particularly weak, you might look for greater discounts when making your offer.  When there are 64 homes on the market in the $900,000s and on average only one sells per month, you can imagine these sellers must be getting pretty anxious.

On the flip side, if you are a seller in this same price range and are on the fence about pricing your home in the low $700,000s or the high $600,000s, clearly you should price your home in the $600,000s where you have a much larger pool of buyers and the least amount of competition (months of supply, not number of homes).

This past quarter, 67.3% of all of the Lake Norman home sales were under $500,000.  Only 12.5% of our Lake Norman home sales were $700,000 or higher yet that same price range represents 31.4% of our active listings.  As has been the case for several years, our higher end homes sales are extremely slow.

So, pick a price range and take a look at the number of sales, the number of active listings, the average days on the market and the months of supply.  This report provides you with the data to focus on your price niche.

Learn More About Life in Lake Norman:

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 1

 

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: The Big Picture

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The recent uptake in home sales, both here in Lake Norman and throughout many parts of the country has led to a flurry of speculation about whether we have hit the bottom of the housing market.

This week the National Association of Realtors came out with some strong “Pending” numbers (homes that are under contract and ready to close) in their Pending Home Sales Index  and painted a rather upbeat picture of the national housing market’s future.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday the “housing market is beginning to stabilize and the recession should end later this year.”   He went on to say “that growth will remain slow and unemployment high for a year after the recession ends.”

These reports have caused an explosion of speculation among Realtors on blogs throughout the country. Zillow jumped into the fray in their Zillow Advice discussion.  Zillow.com’s Spencer Rascoff wrote a blog post ” Sorry to spoil the party, but we’re not at the bottom!” in which he shares some sobering numbers for home sales and median prices for the first quarter of this year.  While he acknowledges that there are bright spots, he also goes on to explain his concerns for a “massive amount of shadow inventory”.

Bernice Ross, a regular columnist for Inman News  and other real estate news sources, wrote an article ” Estimating a real estate bottom” in which she underscores the important of the amount of INVENTORY when trying to determine the best time to buy.  Just as I have written in my monthly and quarterly sales analysis, she notes that any more than 8 months of inventory of active listings indicates we are still in a buyer’s market. “….prices lag behind inventory changes.  For example, many parts of Florida and California are currently seeing big drops in the amount of inventory….nevertheless, the property values are still decreasing.  As the excess inventory is absorbed, prices will stabilize.”

Here is our greater Charlotte and Lake Norman area, the big news this week was the speculation about whether our behemoth developer, Crescent Resources, will be filing for bankruptcy protection:

Crescent bankruptcy filing possible

Crescent Resources’ trouble mirrors real estate’s fall…

There is no doubt that we are seeing signs of improvement, even in our local Lake Norman real estate market.  Like most of the nation, First-Time Home Buyers are fueling this increased activity.  However, we are still sitting on between 20 to 25 months of supply of active listings.  I will continue to provide my hot sheets, monthly and quarterly Lake Norman home sales statistics so that together we can watch for signs that we are nearing our bottom here in Lake Norman.

Learn about Life in Lake Norman

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 1

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Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s April 2009 Sales Analysis

Whether you are a potential home buyer considering the greater Lake Norman area or a Lake Norman homeowner trying to determine the best time to sell, it has never been more important to be informed in every possible way about our local Lake Norman real estate market.

Our Lake Norman housing market continues to change rapidly.  What was true even a month ago may not be true today.  That said, here is the summary of Lake Norman single family home sales and statistics for this past April.  (The period ending yesterday):

Lake Norman april-2009-monthly-sales-analysis

  Active Listings:  Our total number of active listings increased 6.6% in the month of April.  While it would be better for our housing market if our number of active listings decreased, this is not a significant increase considering this is our peak season for Lake Norman real estate sales.

Contingent Sales:  This represents the number of homes that are under contract but are contingent upon the buyers selling their own homes.  In a buyers market, this is not a strong position for a seller as it may take months for the buyer’s property to sell.  This number remains fairly low which indicates to me that sellers are looking for stronger offers.

Conditional Sales:  At 37, the number of  homes under contract that are in the early stages with conditions for loans and inspections is about even with the past few months.  This is our best indicator of future closed sales.

Pending Sales:  84 pending sales is the highest we have seen for many months.  These are sales that are just waiting to close which would indicate that our May closings should be even higher than this month.  Finally, a bit of good news!

Closed Sales:  Normally we would not celebrate about 69 sales in any given month but this is a 64% increase versus last month, a drop of only 23% versus April 2008 and it is the best month since September 2008 which was before the financial crisis.  The only reason I am not celebrating and saying that we have hit the bottom of our market is because our Conditional sales for this month are so low.  It is hard to know whether this truly is an upward trend or just a minor spike.

5-Year Comparison of Lake Norman Home Sales By Month

20092008200720062005
January246987102105
February 45501059888
March 4271151153136
April 6990120143152
May90152182157
June82169227172
July101147166191
August74144180233
September69105135163
October6698117184
November468488145
December6264132134
Totals:180916149217431860

* Please note that all of my numbers come from the Charlotte Region Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.

**While my totals on this chart for 2008 sales is 870, when I search on our MLS for the entire year they give me a slightly higher number of 916 so I will use that as our official number for the sake of this analysis.

Summary:  With 69 closed sales and 1648 active listings in the Lake Norman area, we still have a 24-month supply of homes for sale.  While this is substantially better than the last quarter, a balanced housing market should have about 6-8 months of inventory so we are still in a buyers market.  However, it is great to see a positive month.  Now let’s hope this trend continues!

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