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Investment Property Charleston SC | Income Producing Real Estate

CHARLESTON SC INVESTMENT PROPERTIES & INCOME PRODUCING REAL ESTATE

For investors in Charleston SC the real estate game is a tricky one. We all made thousands and — probably millions if you add it all up — flipping houses, leasing offices and renovating condos. Then the real estate market collapsed, throwing the U.S. into the 2007-2009 recession.

Now the prognosis for real estate investments is looking much better, though it’s anything but simple. Some commercial real estate has rebounded, with investors craving income that real estate provides, while Low-country residential Charleston real estate — particularly single-family homes — may be at once-in-a-lifetime bargain prices.

Four top experts were asked for their take on the the opportunities and potential pitfalls facing real estate investors in the coming years. Edited excerpts of their interviews follow:

Jim Sullivan, managing director of REIT research, Green Street Advisors

Every diversified investor should have some exposure to commercial real estate, and REITs [real estate investment trusts] provide a terrific, transparent and liquid way to get that exposure. Operating fundamentals in most property types range from good to great, with good being the shopping center business and industrial business and great being the apartment business. The economy is not doing great, but the silver lining for commercial real estate is how little new supply is coming on the market. Too much new commercial construction is typically what puts a halt to real estate recoveries. This time around, it’s just not an issue.

Multi-Family Income Properties

 

REITs tend to be specialized by property type. You can pick and choose, depending on what your economic outlook might be. If your forecast is a little rosier, you’d want to be in property types that respond well in economic recoveries — hotels, for example, or REITs that own shopping centers with lots of small tenants. If you wanted to be a bit more defensive, health care REITs are a terrific place to be. When investing in Charleston real estate the safe bet would obviously be in tourism based avenues considering that is the most consistent driver of revenue.

The biggest opportunity is buying distressed single-family homes, because that market has been completely beat up. The next biggest opportunity is buying land because very few people have been focused on it. If you have a long-term view, you’ll probably see a significant multiple return. Buying land is a complicated business, though. Mom-and-pop investors should not be buying land.

Lauren Pressman, director of investment research at wealth management firm Aspiriant

The U.S. is in a period of sustained but very slow growth. Job reports are huge factors for real estate, because jobs create demand for housing, for offices, for travel and at retail establishments. We’re wary of things like retail and office, except in very unique circumstances. Multifamily real estate (apartment buildings) arguably had all the tail winds at its back to do the best of all asset classes. However, be careful. There is so much capital chasing multifamily, and that can lift prices beyond a point where your return is commensurate with risk.

No matter what your strategy is always be careful and have a good local agent to help you navigate through the maze of options out there for investing in real estate in Charleston or anywhere. Find a great contractor in Charleston and let them help you with the renovations, and repair necessary to get a C.O. and move onto the next real estate opportunity.

VACATION RENTALS

One of the long tried and true income producing real estate investments popular in Charleston area is in beachfront homes or resort vacation rentals. It’s no mystery that homes in beach communities are very attractive year round and hundreds of thousands of visitors come to our beaches in S.C. to unwind. Homes for sale on the Isle of Palms and in Wild Dunes real estate make big money on weekly vacation rentals for their owners. Many developers and investors will even buy an existing home, tear it down and build a new one just for the returns it can produce. Weekly rentals on Folly Beach, Kiawah, Seabrook Island, and even downtown Charleston garner upwards of $4000 to $7000+. Even with HOA Dues in Wild Dunes, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island + monthly regimes for condos/villas these properties can get easily $30,000 yr for one bedroom to $90k+ for beachfront and 3 bedroom units. 

There has never been a better time to pull money out of the equities market and into real estate, rates are low, and prices are too.

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Improvement Continued – Sales Still Rising

As reported by CNBC on Thursday new construction home sales were the best on record since 1963. Sales of new homes rose in April to the second highest level since the summer of 2008 while the median price for a new home hit a record high, further signs that housing is recovering. The median price of a home sold in April was $271,600, the highest level on government records going back to 1993. The April price was 8.3% higher than in March and 13.1 percent higher than a year ago. With the April increase, sales are now 29% higher than a year ago, but sales are still below the 700,000 level considered healthy by economists.How’s this translate for those of us in Charleston, South Carolina? According to USAToday, Sales in the South were up 3% but sales fell 16.7%. Sales of previously owned homes rose in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, the highest level in 3½ years.As the supply of available homes to buy remains tight this trend is likely to continue through the foreseeable future. Applications for permits to build homes rose in April to the highest level in nearly five years. While construction of new homes dipped a little in April, the drop came one month after construction topped 1 million for the first time since June 2008. Several major homebuilders have told of strong annual increases in orders for the first three months of the year, others, said that orders in April jumped 59% from a year earlier.
Some Content Courtesy of USAToday.com

Charleston SC Home Sales Show Improvement

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® — (May 9, 2012) – Median existing single-family home prices are firming in many areas of the low-country, while improving sales and declining inventory are creating more balanced conditions, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®.Last April, preliminary figures showed 776 homes sold at a median price of $175,000, following an almost equal number of property tours.“The number of showings our REALTORS® are completing in 2012 is almost equal to the number of showings we saw in 2009, when the market was significantly depressed, but inventory was much higher. This tells us that the prospective buyers in today’s market aren’t just looking. They are serious buyers, making offers and closing transactions” said 2012 CTAR President, Herb Koger.The national median existing single-family home price was $158,100 in the first quarter, which is 0.4 percent below $158,700 in the first quarter of 2011.  The median is where half sold for more and half sold for less.  Distressed homes2 – foreclosures and short sales which sold at deep discounts – accounted for 32 percent of first quarter sales; they were 38 percent a year ago.Heading into what is typically the busiest season of the year, year to date figures reflect a market that is in the midst of sustainable, healthy growth. Inventory is 29% lower than it was at this time last year; sales volume is almost 6% ahead and prices have increased a healthy 4% from this time last year.Total existing-home sales,3 including single-family and condo, increased 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million in the first quarter from a downwardly revised 4.37 million in the fourth quarter, and were 5.3 percent above the 4.34 million level during the first quarter of 2011 when sales spiked. We are seeing more people coming back into the investment and second home market buying homes for sale in places like Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island.Mount Pleasant SC custom home builder-owner of Sand Dollar Homes, said there are more opportunities in today’s market.  “Historically favorable housing affordability conditions are making it easier for buyers to enter the market despite the unnecessarily tight credit conditions,” he said.  “Housing supply and demand are roughly balanced with overall housing supply at the lowest level in six years, putting sellers on an even footing with buyers in most markets.”CTAR REPORTBerkeley County 170 homes sold at a median price of $154,945 in Berkeley County in April. This represents even sales and an increase in pricing compared with April 2011, when 170 homes sold at a median price of $145,000.Charleston County 476 homes sold at a median price of $228,125 in Charleston County in April. This represents an increase in sales and pricing from April 2011’s 451 sales at a median price of $208,000.Dorchester County 151 homes sold at a median price of $165,000 in Dorchester County in April. This represents a significant increase in both sales volume and pricing, as 129 homes sold at a median price of $147,490 in April 2011.