What Is A “Luxury Home?”

February 21, 2014

Iverson Rear

I recently did an interview for a radio show that aired on ABC News Radio and FOX Business News and I was asked the following question:  “Ben, what is considered a luxury home?”  That’s a great question!!  Real estate is very much like the weather in that it is very localized, what might be a luxury home in Charlotte might not be considered a luxury home in another market.   In Charlotte, luxury homes begin at approximately $750,000. Homes sold with a list price of $750,000 or greater made up 2.7% of the homes sold in 2013. When you cross the magic million dollar threshold, those homes sold made up only 1.2% of all homes sold in the metro-Charlotte area.

If you are considering buying or selling a luxury home, you want to make sure you are working with an agent who specializes in luxury homes and who has a great understanding of that market. Your agent needs to be comfortable and skilled in negotiations with this clientele.  Your agent should also be knowledgeable of the products and features found in a million dollar home compared with a typical home.  Remember, the million dollar home costs approximately 5 times what the average home in Charlotte sells for and they are built with completely different products and features.

If you are in the market to sell a luxury home, you want to be certain your agent is skilled with marketing homes in this price range and has a creative and direct plan for marketing your home or property.  You want an agent with a lot of contacts in this price range.  Your agent should also know the other agents who would typically have buyers in this price range.

There really is no substitute for experience.  I have personally closed more than 65 homes priced above $1,000,000 and it is this experience by having numerous sales above $1 Million that has enabled me to be a valuable asset to my luxury home clients.

 By the way, the home pictured above is located at 1929 Iverson Lane and is currently offered for sale by Ben Bowen Properties for $2,850,000.

Cheers!

 

Ben Bowen

 

Charlotte’s Hottest Neighborhood, Springfield, Is Actually In Fort Mill, SC!!!

February 7, 2013

Charlotte’s hottest selling neighborhood isn’t even in Charlotte, it’s in Fort Mill!   Springfield is as hot as any community in the Charlotte area offering a great mix of brand new homes from the upper $200’s, golf villas from the $300’s to custom homes in excess of $1,000,000.

Lennar Homes has sold 37 homes during their first 16 months in Springfield and is now taking pre-sale orders for their next phase.  David Weekley Homes opened their model home mid-December and already has 14 homes sold with many of them located on the 18th hole of the Springfield Golf Course.  Both Lennar and Weekley have seen significant price increases since beginning sales in Springfield since buyers continue to view Springfield as not only a strong investment, but just a great place to live.

There are currently an incredible 28 custom homes under construction that are already sold.  Not only are all 28 of these homes already sold, but available homesites to build on are almost gone!  What other neighborhood has 28 custom homes under construction, 14 portfolio homes under construction and 7 portfolio homes presold for the next phase?  That is 49 homes currently under contract in one community!!!  Incredible!

Springfield offers low Fort Mill taxes, excellent schools, wonderful amenities and easy access to both Uptown Charlotte and to Rock Hill.  Regardless of what has happened to the housing market, these strengths of Springfield remain unchanged.  The amenities found in Springfield include 3 swimming pools, tennis courts, club house with exercise room, aerobics room and full-time activity directors who put on great programs for the kids and adults year round.  There is also a championship 18-hole golf course designed by Clyde Johnston.  In addition to the wonderful amenities found in Springfield, there is a 2,300 acre greenway located across the street that will never be developed.  The Anne Close Springs Greenway offers 32 miles of trails for walking, mountain bike riding and horse back riding.  If that is not enough you can camp at one of their campsites and fish in one of the five ponds found on the property.

If you are in the market for a resale homes in Springfield, you better hurry.  There are currently only three custom resale homes available.  These three homes are priced between $664,900 and $875,000.

If you would like more information on a home in Springfield, please feel free to call me at directly at 704-572-6070 to discuss.  I worked there for the developer from day one and know the community intimately.

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

SOLD On Selling Your Home Now!!!

January 30, 2013

I am often asked, “Should I go ahead and list my home now or wait until Spring”?

That’s a great question and here are the facts.  Just remember this acronym:   SOLD


Sales are at the fastest pace in 5 years

Offering of available homes is low today

Listings are selling for a greater percentage of list price now

Demand is high


There will be more homes on the market in a few months than there are today.  This means you have less competition when selling your home now.  Part of the reason some markets are experiencing a demand frenzy is because there simply aren’t enough “good” homes for sale.  “Good” meaning a home that is priced correctly, shows well, and is updated.  If you think you own a “good” home and would like to sell it, contact us for a free market analysis today.

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

November Housing Numbers Reflect Strong Growth In Charlotte Real Estate Market

December 27, 2012

The Charlotte real estate market posted some very strong gains in November compared with November 2011.  Home closings were up 21.8%, the median sales price was up 5.8% and the average sales price was up 3.6%.  The number of homes for sale dropped 29.4% while the number of homes closed rose 21.8%.  With fewer homes for sale and more homes being sold, this leads to higher sales prices which is reflected by the increase in the increased average and median home price in Charlotte.  The months supply of available homes is done 45.7%, the days on the market is down 9.4% and the cumulative days on market is down 15.6%.

So, the big question is what does this mean?  The Charlotte housing market is certainly gaining ground and there is no doubt that we have left the “Market Bottom” in the rear view mirror.  As home prices continue to increase, expect more homes to come on the market.  There are actually some very hot neighborhoods in Charlotte where there are not enough homes available to meet buyers demands.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home, now is an excellent time!

Cheers!


Ben Bowen

Charlotte Luxury Home Sales Trend Upward

October 23, 2012

I recently wrote a blog about how the Charlotte home market is doing and I have been asked how that compares to the “Luxury Home” market.  Generally, I believe that the term “luxury home ” is a relative term which starts at around $500,000 in Charlotte.  However, for this report, I researched home sales for homes with a list price of $1,000,000 or more for the metro-Charlotte area.

Here are the stats:

Median Sales Price is up 3.1%

Average Sales Price is up 4.7%

Sales Price To List Price is up 2.9%

Days On Market is down 12.1%

So, the luxury home market is holding up very well in comparison with the general Charlotte Metro area.  Many “Move Up” buyers are taking advantage of the historically low interest rates which are providing buyers with incredible buying power.  Although sellers are taking a hit on their current home they are selling, if they are moving up in price point, they can expect to make up for the loss they are taking on their current home and then some on the home they are purchasing.

So, if you are in the market to sell a luxury home, now is better than a year ago.  Although we are no where near the glory years; the market today is better, not worse, than it was one year ago.

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

October 20, 2012

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

The comment I keep hearing from people is “How’s the market, I hear it’s getting better”. The answer is, yes it is getting better. Although we are a long way from where we were 6-8 years ago, it’s important to know that we are better off now than we were one year ago.

Here are some key statistics comparing September 2012 with September 2011.

Median sales price is up 6.7%
Average sales price is up 4.8%
Sales price to list price is up 2.9%
Days on market is down 12.1%
Months supply of available homes is down a huge 43.4%

Every single one of these statistics points towards a recovering real estate market.  So, unequivocally, yes the real estate market is stronger now than it was one year ago.   So, just like eating an elephant one bite at a time, if the real estate market will continue to improve a little bit every month, we will be able to eat this giant elephant that has been sitting on our chest!

Today is a great day to buy a home!

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

Top 10 Staging Tips

August 24, 2012

Thank you to Andrea Sutton with Sutton Place Interior Design for her expert advice on staging.  Below are her “Top 10 Staging Tips”

1. Clear it all out. As unsentimental as this might seem to you, buyers want to be able to imagine themselves in your space; seeing clothes in the closet, family photos, and random tchotchkes prevents them from doing so. You want the space to look BIG, CLEAN, SPACIOUS, and UNCLUTTERED.
2. Freshen up the style. Furnishings that seem homey and comforting — yet fresh and contemporary — give an aura that your home is updated and well cared for. Neutrals work best; just add colorful touches here and there.
3. Mirrors! Use mirrors liberally to make your area look bigger, lighter, brighter, and encourage sunlight to bounce all over the walls.
4. Don’t forget the outdoor areas. Those spaces add as much interest for the buyer as the interior rooms. The buyer will see the space as additional living area and your home feels bigger.
5. Create vignettes. Set up little scenes that help buyers visualize their life in your home. A nice corner with a comfortable chair, a lamp and a few books help the buyer imagine a space for quiet relaxing moments.
6. Small furniture, big space. It’s the trick of the trade: downsize your furnishings to upsize the room. Remove your nightstands, extra dressers, chairs and bookcases from your bedroom to make your master bedroom look neat and large. For master bedroom, we also recommend keeping it as gender neutral as positive.
7. Smart accessories. Cleared kitchen counters of appliances, spice racks, towels, and cooking utensils and leave only a few things: a couple of cookbooks and a shiny tea kettle for example.
8. Boost curb appeal. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside.
9. Get your house sparkling clean. From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle.
10. Make your home pet neutral. If you have pets, make sure to clean the carpets to ensure buyers do not notice an odor or fur on surfaces. You may not care if your pet hops on the sofa but it can give buyers the appearance of an unkempt home.

Most of these are easy to do and can be accomplished in a short period of time. If you have a larger project, consider the investment vs. the profit it may bring in your sale. Statistics show that staging your home properly resulting in a sale in an average of 42 days as opposed to the 198 days on average for a non-staged home. If you are not sure where to begin, contact a professional. The small investment can bring big results when done properly!

For interior design help, contact Andrea Sutton http://www.suttonplacedesign.com/

For help buying or selling a home, call Ben Bowen at 704-572-6070

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

Riverwalk Is Metro-Charlotte’s Most Unique Mixed-Use Neighborhood

August 8, 2012

Riverwalk, conveniently located along the shores of the Catawba River in Rock Hill is going to be the largest mixed-use residential community between Fort Mill and Columbia featuring approximately 800 homes on 1,000 acres.    This ideal location will offer residents low South Carolina taxes with easy access to both Charlotte and Rock Hill.  This incredibly diverse community will feature single family homes ranging from the $200’s – $400’s, townhomes, retail shopping, office space and amenities unlike any other in the southeast.

Included in the master plan, Riverwalk will feature a 3-mile trail along the banks of the Catawba River, a drop zone for kayaking, a Veledrome cycling track that is already open,  a YMCA, BMX cycling course, mountain bike trails, athletic fields, and so much more.  Along the river will be the River District, which will feature restaurants offering waterfront dining.

Currently there are two builders in Riverwalk, Evans Coghill Homes and Saussy Burbank.  Evans Coghill Homes has their model home under construction which will open on September 1.  I am pleased to announce that Ben Bowen Properties will handle the sales and marketing efforts for Evans Coghill Homes in Riverwalk.  On-site agent, Rodney Jones, already has his first sale before the model is even complete!  Rodney also has 3 spec homes available for purchase in Riverwalk.  Buy now, while you can still customize your selections!

Here is a link to the master plan for Riverwalk.  For additional information, please call Rodney Jones at 704-202-7460.

http://www.riverwalkcarolinas.com/site-plan.php

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

We Can Do Anything In Life If We Just Want It Bad Enough

July 24, 2012

There are so many positive signs in the real estate market today, yet many people, both real estate agents and consumers, continue to focus on the negative. I have discovered in my 18 years in real estate that much of my success is because not only do I believe that I can be successful, but I expect to be successful.

When listing your home or working with a buyer’s agent, it is important to use an agent that believes in their success as well as yours. If they don’t believe in their success, how in the world can they believe in your success whether you are buying or selling a home.

I have attached an inspiring link that I hope you will enjoy. This teenager, George Dennehy, was born with no arms, yet he is pursuing a musical career. This video shows him playing “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls on guitar! Remember, he has no arms!

What’s standing in your way?  Don’t let it be a real estate agent who does not believe in the market and more importantly in themselves.

I hope you enjoy the video.

Cheers!

Ben Bowen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-48BNLvSP7o

Consumer Confidence Is Boosting York County Housing Market

June 19, 2012

On a national level, single family construction is up 25% in the last six months.  Like much of the country, York County is experiencing a strong increase in new construction. With interest rates at historic lows and an increase in consumer confidence, buyers are taking advantage of special incentives offered by many new home builders across the country today.


This trend is certainly evident in the York County Housing Market. Building permits were up from 180 to 245 for first quarter 2012 compared with first quarter 2011. That represents a 36% increase over the same time period last year. Tremendous land values coupled with historic low interest rates are enabling builders to offer new home buyers some of the most affordable home values in years. David Weekley Homes has already sold 25 homes in York County’s popular Baxter Village which matches their total number sold in 2011.

Saussy Burbank has enjoyed tremendous success in the regions newest multi-use development, Riverwalk. When completed, Riverwalk will be the largest neighborhood between south Charlotte and Columbia. Saussy Burbank has completed their model home in Rivrwalk and already has 17 home sales.

Evans Coghill Homes has a model home under construction and the model will be completed by the end of August. Alan Banks, one of the partners of Evans Coghill Homes believes that with the proximity to Charlotte, low taxes, great schools and good land values that Riverwalk is poised to take over the success that Baxter Village has enjoyed for many years.  Riverwalk will offer amenities never before seen in Charlotte and Evans Coghill is poised to make Riverwalk a major part of their business plan for the next five plus years.

If you are in the market for a new home, now is a tremendous time to purchase.  Builders have negotiated low land prices, they are offering extremely attractive incentives and interest rates are near all-time lows.  If you have further questions about York County or the housing market in general, call me, I can help.

Cheers!


Ben Bowen

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