Archive for the 'castles' Category

Asheville fares well in mortgage analysis

How do Asheville’s real estate problems compare to other markets?

Not too bad, according to a mortgage analysis by CoreLogic, a leading provider of real estate reporting and analytics (www.corelogic.com).

CoreLogic released a report for 164 metro areas that shows Asheville ranking better than 90% of the rest of the country in “negative equity share.” That means Asheville is far better off than the rest of the country when it comes to home owners who are “underwater” or “upside down” in their mortgages — borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

“… 11 million, or 23 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of the second quarter …  2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for nearly 28 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide.”
via CoreLogic Negative Equity Report Q2 2010 (PDF)

The most recent data was better than the first quarter of 2010, but CoreLogic said the reason was because of foreclosures rather than stabilizing or improving housing prices. And where foreclosures are high, housing prices fall.

Las Vegas topped the list of metro areas with the highest negative equity report, with 72.8% of its  homeowners in negative equity. Comparatively, Asheville has only 6.6% in negative equity — 13th lowest in the country. That bodes well for home values here.

The worst states for underwater homes are California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona. But many experts expect housing prices to continue falling through the rest of the year.

“Negative equity continues to both drive foreclosures and impede the housing market recovery. With nearly 5 million borrowers currently in severe negative equity, defaults will remain at a high level for an extended period of time,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

House auction to help benefit hospital pediatric unit

Some of the proceeds from the auction of a house in Candler will benefit the pediatric unit at Mission Hospital.

The seller has had a fruitful recovery and is offering $5000 of net proceeds at closing, to be donated in the name of the purchaser should they desire, to the Mission Hospital pediatric oncology unit in recognition of their caring and professional dedication to the needs of patients and the families of patients. This significant gesture affords the buyer a tax writeoff for the year 2010 in addition to their closing costs.

via ABSOLUTE AUCTION: 2 Family Home w/2-Car Garage on 2 Acres Near Asheville, NC.

A press release about the auction says the 2700-square-foot house on two acres was purchased for convalescence following treatment at Mission. The home has full separate living quarters on two floors, and will be sold with no reserve — highest bid will buy it.

The auction is being handled by Tranzon LLC, a national real estate disposition company with offices across the country. Details can be found at tranzon.com.

It’s refreshing to see a house auction in this tough real estate market that isn’t being held on the courthouse steps as a result of foreclosure — and with proceeds benefiting a good cause.

Home values keep falling in Asheville

The chief economist with Zillow.com says residential real estate values are continuing to decline across the country — including Buncombe County.

“The supply and demand picture continues to look challenging to say the least. …  Data on mortgage applications from MBA and pending sales data coming in now from local markets suggests that housing demand plummeted after the expiration of the first-time homebuyer tax credits at the end of April.”

via National Home Values Continue to Fall in April; Sales Likely to Dry Up After Tax Credit Expiration | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

Bank-owned properties, seriously delinquent mortgages and foreclosed homes are creating a “shadow inventory” that is depressing prices around the country. At the end of April, year-over-year home values declined in 81% of the metropolitan statistical areas that Zillow tracks.

Zillow data for Buncombe County (below) shows Biltmore Forest, Fairview and Black Mountain as sustaining the biggest YOY declines in house values.  Bent Creek, Swannanoa and Woodfin show actual increases in home values for the period ending in April.

According to the Zillow blog:

“Existing home sales will continue to stay robust through the end of June, when contracts that were signed by the end of April must close in order for buyers to receive the tax credits.  Expect them to fall off precipitously thereafter…”

Buncombe County Home Values - April 2010

Big contractor postpones giant yard sale

12.04.09 UPDATE: Due to threat of snow, Beverly-Grant has postponed its giant warehouse sale originally scheduled for Dec. 5. No new date has been set yet, but an inventory list has been provided. It follows this updated post.

As every family knows, the old homestead can accumulate a lot of stuff over the years.

And then you have to do something about it.

That time has come for Beverly-Grant, the second-generation, family-owned business in Asheville that is the largest general contractor in Western North Carolina. Its warehouse is bursting at the seams and in order to free up some much needed space, it has scheduled a giant yard sale for Dec. 5.

“Our company has been in business for over 50 years and naturally we have accumulated a lot of excess construction materials and tools over that time,” a company spokesman said. “We are selling items that might be of use to other builders.”

Building materials and tools for sale include lumber, lighting, trim, brick, block, tile, trailers, saws, fasteners, slate, and more. You can see pictures here.

You may recognize Beverly-Grant from some of its work. It designed and built the Laurel Park Medical Centre in Hendersonville and CBS featured one of Beverly-Grant’s current projects, CooperRiis Wellness Center, on a recent Sunday Morning News show. The business is a member of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council.

The construction warehouse sale, originally scheduled for Saturday Dec. 5th, has been postponed until a later date TBD. It will be at 92 Thompson Street in Asheville.

The inventory list includes (updated Dec. 4):

Used mop sink with faucet $50
Poplar/Pine lumber $0.25/ft
Oak lumber $0.50/ft
2×6 tongue and groove decking $1.50/ft
3×6 tongue and groove decking $1.50/ft
Aluminum Clad Windows $100 each
Fiberglass columns w/ capitals $50 per column
Door Frames $10 each
Button caps $5/box
Bolts $0.50 each
Nails $5/box
Handicap Shower Seats $20 each
Come-a-longs $5 each
Simpson Hangers $1 each
Doors $10 each
Attic Stairs $75
Hardwood Flooring $800.00 LOT
Cedar Closet Lining $15/box
Wood Brackets $1 each
Large Simpson hangers $1 each
Florescent Light fixtures $1 each
Stainless Steel Sink $25
Grout pump $50
DeWalt Saw $25
Air Compressor $30
2 Sets back hoe forks $150/pair
Decorative Tile $150 LOT
Anchor bolts $1 each
Low flow smoke detector $20 each
Louvers $25 each
Huge louver $75
Garage door $150
Large Medical Center doors $100 each
Misc. Cabinet Palettes $25/palette
Cypress balusters $1/piece
50 year Shingles $25/square
PVC Plumbing Fittings $1 each
HPS Light Fixtures $1 each
Rock $250 LOT
Pre-Cast Architectural Concrete $10/piece
Brick $0.10/brick
24 gauge Metal Siding $500 for the lot
Slate Shingles $500/palette
Scaffolding $5/piece
Slate Tiles $1/tile
Patio Furniture $50
Radial Arm saw $50
Sears Radial Arm saw $25
Timber connection plates $5 each
Fan $5
Yard Edger $75

Asheville builder makes the best of a bad situation

Opportunities often spring from the misfortune of others in tough economic times. But innovative solutions can also spring from financial setback.

A case in point is Asheville builder John Erwin, who will run an unusual auction this weekend to sell one of his larger, newer houses to spare damage to his business and credit rating.

“While the economy has crushed the short-term real estate market here in Asheville it has also devasted the construction industry–which is where we earned our living. As a result we have to get out from under the payments on this nearly-new home (only 6 years old).”

via Beautiful Asheville Home in Financial Distress

The take-notice part of this short sale is the starting price of $118,500 — for a 2100 square feet, 4BR and 2.5BA home with cherry hardwood floors and a nice back deck.

Home prices have plummeted lately due to the deflation of the housing bubble, which was brought on by loose credit, but it’s hard not to see a lot of room for value in this low starting bid. And Erwin’s hope is that it brings enough interest to get him the best out of a bad situation. (Disclosure: He’s advertising the sale on Iwanna.com.)

What’s the market value of Erwin’s home?

Buncombe County tax records value the property at $264,280.
Trulia.com lists the market value as $224,500
Zillow’s “zestimate” is $266,500
Cyberhomes says it’s worth $249,900.

You can read more about the auction here: www.beautifulashevillehouse.com

Don’t expect to move in anytime soon, however. Erwin’s bank must approve the highest bid; so, like with any short sale, the process could take some time to complete. Short sales can take six months or longer to complete.

Erwin gets props for his innovative auction concept — which may keep the sale away from the courthouse steps, where foreclosures are usually finalized.

Meanwhile, Wall Street roars. The DJIA crossed 10,170 today for the first time in a year. And the unemployment rate (officially announced at 10.2% last week, but 17.5% when including Americans who have given up looking for work) continues to rise alongside foreclosures and bankruptcies.

In the comments below, tell us what you’re doing to make lemonade out of lemons in this economy.

Floating house debuts in New Orleans

The Float House, which debuts this week in  New Orleans, marks a fascinating innovation in manufactured housing in the wake of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina. It is designed to survive up to 12-foot floodwaters and be mass produced.

This innovative base, or “chassis,” integrates all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sustainable systems, and securely floats in case of flooding. Inspired by GM’s skateboard chassis, which is engineered to support several car body types, the FLOAT House’s chassis is designed to support a variety of customizable house configurations.

Via Morphopedia.com architects

The house was designed as part of the charitable “Make it Right” eco-friendly building organization of Hollywood movie star Brad Pitt. The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent feature here on the Float House.

Although the Float House doesn’t have much use in the mountains of Western North Carolina, it does make you wonder if someone could design and produce a “slide” house — one that might survive a tumble down the ridge line.

Float House by Morphopedia

Float House by Morphopedia

Is Asheville buyer’s market for homes slowing?

New data on Zillow.com shows about a third of the homes for sale in Asheville were listed with price cuts in August.

909pricecuts

Asheville listings with price cuts

That’s a 0.4% improvement from July, and an indication that the buyer’s market for homes may be easing in Asheville. But the median price cut was slightly higher than July (about 6%) and the median list price per square foot declined again.

The Zillow blog promised more details next week, but it noted that homebuyers nationwide lost a bit of negotiating power in August.

New Zillow data from surrounding metro areas may provide some perspective.

Greensboro shows the largest percentage price reductions in North Carolina at an average of 5.3%. Over a quarter of the homes in that market had recent list-price reductions. Greensboro’s home value index is 4.4% lower than a year ago.

The Tri-Cities Tennesse area, known as the Johnson City MSA, came in at an average 4.1% price reductions. Its Zillow Home Value Index year-over-year is down almost 9%, which is closer to the housing value trend Asheville has been experiencing. We reported last month that the buyer’s market for real estate was raging on in Asheville.

Charleston leads South Carolina in declining home prices, according to the data. Spartanburg and Greenville rank in the middle of the list of 144 metro areas, with average price reductions in the 3.5% range.

Average days on the market are over 100 days in each of the metro areas mentioned above – sometimes well over 100 days. Zillow reports Asheville’s days-on-market in August as 110.

The biggest house price declines are in Florida. Zillow reported that 14 of the top 20 metro areas had the biggest discounts in list prices.

The good news for sellers is that the first-time buyers credit is helping stretch the traditionally strong summer home-selling season this year. Video from Trulia.com is below:


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