Educate your Customers. My goal as your agent is win-win. Making you aware of the opportunities that exists today versus purchasing later is a way to help you achieve your goals and a way for me to increase my business. Anyone worried about the stability of their employment or a decrease in earnings, should take this opportunity to refinance and lower your monthly payment is something you should consider now.
Look at it from another angle. There are a lot of people out there whose investment portfolios have almost been cut in half since 2008. They may be questioning their investment strategies and real estate has long been one of the most stable and predictable investments around. In an environment where your portfolio is not generating a return, it might make sense to put your money into the purchase of a second home or investment property. Times like these produce better values in the market and with interest rates at current levels, the saving created by locking in rates now will pay dividends for many years to come.

Lake Hartwell was built by the Corps of Engineers between 1957-63 for flood control, water quality, water supply, and hydroelectric power generation. And, that it is 660' above sea level with 962 miles of shoreline.

Lake Keowee was built in 1976 for water supply, to cool Duke Power's Nuclear facility, and is 800' of above sea level. When the facility is at maximum capacity it generates power equivalent to burning 27,000 tons of coal per day!


It's Prime-time for Real Estate

Last Spring I wrote that the time to buy real estate would be Summer 16 to Spring 17 if you were in the market and looking for a bargain. Looking back, timing couldn't have been better. Now early 2017 the market has begun to sustain from a bottom and long-cycle assets like houses are beginning to see gains in pricing. The latest Multiple Listing numbers suggest housing prices continue to increase and are now poised to remain strong through the remaining year. Not saying we're in for another Real Estate boom any time soon. There's still some distressed inventory to sift through and consumer confidence needs to continue to build before we can reach near "normal" levels of activity. It will, in my estimation, take another year to two to shake out the foreclosures, short-sales, create consumer confidence, and put behind the woes of the economic turmoil we've experienced over the last few years. That being said, there are still several great real estate bargains out there.  Savvy buyers have been  picking up some pretty lucrative properties with others waiting to be scooped up for those brave enough to "dip their toes in the water" (no pun intended). :-)

Like many aspects of the financial crisis, the dark clouds that have gloomed over the real estate market seem to be clearing. Although it has taken much longer than anyone expected, the winds of change seem to be blowing in the right direction for sunnier skies.

Given the recent economic and political news. Unemployment seems to be stabilizing and even improving in many parts of the country. We're seeing increased need for office space and retail leases are on the rise. Consumers have been spending, returning to malls, but with sharper pencils. Rock-bottom interest rates have allowed strapped developers and real estate owners to refinance on favorable terms. Despite some big write-downs, most real estate borrowers have had the cash flow to keep loan payments current or refinance. Right now the Real Estate Market looks and feels to me like March 08 when the stock market was hitting new lows and almost everyone was afraid to jump back in. Those who did reinvest, or were able to ride the storm out, are certainly glad they did. We could see another slight downturn in the market, but think it will be less severe than the previous. The new government administration has too much to lose by allowing the stock market to "double dip" and will keep the stock market up and interest rates down for the foreseeable future.

I believe it's time to reevaluate your exposure to the real-estate sector. In my view, real estate belongs in every diversified investment portfolio. It's not highly correlated to equities or fixed income, and it offers income opportunities as well as a potential hedge against inflation. I've been keeping some cash on hand designated for real estate, and I'm thinking it's time to put some of it to work. 


 We were fortunate to have the Remax Balloon recently make an appearance at Camp Courage, an outdoor camp for kids with special needs. We were able to give balloon rides to nearly 70 children on a perfect evening in the mountains. Smiles on the kids faces going up in the balloon were priceless!

Kim, Conner, Lydia, and I would like to thank all of you for your thoughtfulness throughout the year. With your help we were fortunate enough to sponsor 10 children from our local Department of Social Services for the Holidays last year and we're sending 50 children to the Shriner's Circus this year! Throughout the year, don't forget about the less fortunate, especially the children. Thanks to all of you!

We look forward to seeing you at the lake!