ESTATE


Stimulus-funded roofing project already under way
2009/03/31, 6:51 pm
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Although most projects made possible by the federal stimulus are in planning stages, a roofing project that puts 14 people to work began this week. The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston awarded a contract last week to RRW Construction for replacement of roofs on 34 buildings at Wraggborough Homes, one of its downtown properties. That work started Monday, said Don Cameron, executive director of the housing authority. Three other stimulus-funded projects are expected to begin next week. The four projects represent about $800,000 of the $3 million the Charleston housing authority received from the stimulus plan, an amount calculated based on a federal funding formula. Cameron said the housing authority was able to move quickly on several repair projects because they were already identified in the agency’s five-year plan, and that plan has already received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The housing authority’s staff and board started bid procedures in late February, after they learned that the $3 million was headed to Charleston, Cameron said. The federal money hit the bank March 23, and the authority signed four contracts the next day. The three projects expected to begin next week are the following: Exterior painting and wood repair at Wraggborough Homes. The $74,895 contract was awarded to Vatos Painting. Estimated jobs: 8 Exterior painting and wood repair for 33 buildings at Meeting Street Manor. The $207,000 contract was awarded to Construction/Dynamics. Estimated jobs: 20 Replacement of roofs on 13 buildings at Meeting Street Manor and 11 buildings at Gadsden Green Homes Extension. The $249,900 contract was awarded to Charles Blanchard Construction. Estimated jobs: 26 Cameron said roofs on most of the housing authority’s properties are about 20 years old and were last replaced after Hurricane Hugo. The Charleston housing authority board is set to award additional maintenance and repair contracts on April 28. Cameron said those projects, which will improve the authority’s properties in all parts of the city, will likely use the remainder of the $3 million.

http://charlestonbusiness.com/news/27052-stimulus-funded-roofing-project-already-under-way

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State allocates $44 million to help mitigate foreclosures
2009/03/31, 2:20 pm
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CHARLESTON — More than $44 million has been awarded to communities and organizations across the state to buy foreclosed homes to sell or rent at affordable prices.

The top three awards include $7.4 million for the Lowcountry Housing Trust, representing Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties; $5 million for the city of Greenville; and $4.28 million for the Catawba Regional Council of Government, representing Lancaster County.

The money comes through the federal government’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which is meant to prevent blight and declines in home values in neighborhoods with clusters of foreclosed homes.

At the same time, the program increases the inventory of affordable homes for those people earning 120% of area median income, said Tammie Hoy, director of the Lowcountry Housing Trust, which received the largest chunk of the state’s NSP funding.

The S.C. State Housing, Finance and Development Authority announced the awards last week and the money likely will flow to local housing officials by the summer, Hoy said.

Hoy estimates that the money will allow local housing officials to purchase about 100 homes now owned by banks. The $7.4 million will also cover the cost of any needed repairs to the homes, which might have been vacant for months. In addition, the money can provide homebuyers with assistance in making a down payment.

By April 15, her organization and its partners must submit to state housing officials the homes they intend to purchase. The trust’s original application sought nearly $20 million for the three counties, so local officials must pare down the list of homes they plan to buy.

Hoy emphasized that the money isn’t meant for isolated foreclosures. The federal program targets clusters of foreclosures or likely foreclosures that could bring down neighborhood values.

Hoy said the money could end up going further than the estimated 100 homes. When housing officials sell a home they have purchased, sales proceeds will be available for additional investments.

The money comes through the federal government’s Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This year’s federal stimulus plan includes $2 billion for the program, but details on applying for those dollars are not expected until May, Hoy said.

The homes would be available to people earning up to 120% of area median income. Based on 2008 data, individuals earning up to $49,000 and families of four earning up to $79,000 would qualify, though Hoy said the program might use updated 2009 income data.

Communities and organizations receiving awards: Allocation:
Lowcountry Housing Trust  (Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties) $7,409,679
City of Greenville $5,000,000
Catawba Regional Council of Government (Lancaster County) $4,283,000
City of Columbia $3,900,000
Beaufort Housing Authority $2,943,000
Housing Authority of Myrtle Beach $2,500,000
Greenville County $2,260,000
Richland County $2,220,000
City of Anderson $2,173,087
City of Spartanburg $2,000,000
Sumter Housing Authority $1,700,000
Community Assistance Provider (Lexington County) $1,500,000
Santee-Lynches Affordable Housing CDC (Orangeburg County) $1,293,612
TN Development Corp. $1,038,350
SC Assoc. of Community Development Corp. $1,000,000
City of Florence $1,000,000
Community Development & Improvement Corp.  (Aiken and Darlington counties) $1,000,000
Companion Associates (Pickens) $700,000
Pickens County Habitat for Humanity $225,000
Source: S.C. State Housing, Finance and Development Authority  

http://www.scbizmag.com/content/view/113559/1/
Published March 31, 2009




Appraisers say BPOs hurt property values
2009/03/31, 10:06 am
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An increasing number of appraisers and consumer experts say unrealistically low price estimates caused by short sales and bank-owned foreclosures are artificially depressing property values.

They are particularly critical of broker price opinions (BPOs), which they say are used because they cost less than property valuations by licensed appraisers.

David Berenbaum, executive vice president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, has asked Congress to outlaw using BPOs as a substitute for appraisals in distressed property transactions.

Defenders of BPOs say that real estate professionals know the local area and can do a realistic appraisal accurately.

The National Association REALTORS® said it intends to issue a policy statement in May, but it currently takes no position.

Source: Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth R. Harney (03/28/2009)

Read More
4 Dangers of Broker Price Opinions

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6 Reasons it is still a good time to buy
2009/03/31, 10:04 am
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The housing market is looking healthier. Here are six reasons why now is the time to jump into the market.

1. Uncle Sam is willing to help. First-time buyers (defined as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years) are entitled to a maximum $8,000 tax credit; interest rates are at record lows; and the Federal Reserve is doing its best to make mortgage loans available. (Sign up for a Webinar to learn more about the home buyer tax credit)

2. People have to live somewhere. About 800,000 new households are formed each year in this country, ensuring that the housing market will tighten, even if the economy doesn’t soar.

3. Borrowers leverage their investment. If you put $10,000 into the stock market and it earns 10 percent, you’ve earned $1,000. If you put $10,000 down on a home and its values increases 10 percent, you’ve made $10,000.

4. When prices come back up, you’ll have instant equity. In parts of the country where foreclosures have driven down prices, better times will mean the price of the home you buy will rise rapidly.

5. Mortgage costs stay the same. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage, the monthly payment stays the same – while everything else, including rent, goes upward.

6. You own it. There is something comforting in the notion that your home is your own. You can paint it any color you want, let the dog run in the back yard and hang a swing for the kids in the front.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, June Fletcher (03/27/2009)

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April 28 Webinar: Build Your Business Using the Improved Home Buyer Tax Credit





Sold and Leased Charleston, Sc properties last week
2009/03/30, 6:10 pm
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Stephen W. Truluck and John H. Tison of Coppedge & Tison Commercial Real Estate represented The Noisette Co. in the sale of Panama House “S,” a 4,200-square-foot office building at the Navy Yard at Noisette.
Each Monday, Hot Properties highlights recently sold or leased properties in the Charleston region. Submissions should be sent to dailyjournal@scbiznews.com.

Christina Ellis and Geoffrey Southard of Carolina One Commercial represented Ivo Colucci in the lease of 3,200 square feet at 7565 Rivers Ave. to Sleep King.

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Laura Smith of James Rowe Commercial Real Estate represented CDH Business Services LLC in the lease of 1,250 square feet of office space at 405 Maple St. in Summerville listed with Bob Glover of The Mathew Ryan Co.

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Stephen W. Truluck and John H. Tison of Coppedge & Tison Commercial Real Estate represented The Noisette Co. in the sale of Panama House “S,” a 4,200-square-foot office building at the Navy Yard at Noisette.



Tri-county to get $7.4M to help mitigate foreclosures
2009/03/26, 7:42 pm
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Housing officials in the tri-county area have learned they will receive $7.4 million to buy foreclosed homes to sell or rent at affordable prices.

The money comes through the federal government’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which is meant to prevent blight and declines in home values in neighborhoods with clusters of foreclosed homes.

At the same time, the program increases the inventory of affordable homes for those people earning 120% of area median income, said Tammie Hoy, director of the Lowcountry Housing Trust.

State housing officials announced the award to the Lowcountry counties yesterday. South Carolina received a total of $44 million for the program.

Hoy estimates that the money will allow local housing officials to purchase about 100 homes now owned by banks. The $7.4 million will also cover the cost of any needed repairs to the homes, which might have been vacant for months. In addition, the money can provide homebuyers with assistance in making a down payment.

The money likely will flow to local housing officials by the summer, Hoy said.

By April 15, her organization and its partners must submit to state housing officials the homes they intend to purchase. The trust’s original application sought nearly $20 million for the three counties, so local officials must pare down the list of homes they plan to buy.

They’ll also update their lists of foreclosed homes on the market. Some might have sold in recent months, Hoy said.

“Which is a good thing,” Hoy said. “We are glad they are being sold.”

She emphasized that the money isn’t meant for isolated foreclosures. The federal program targets clusters of foreclosures or likely foreclosures that could bring down neighborhood values.

Hoy said the money could end up going further than the estimated 100 homes. When housing officials sell a home they have purchased, sales proceeds will be available for additional investments.

She said the original request for $20 million was ambitious, considering South Carolina received a total of $44 million for the program for all 46 counties.

The money comes through the federal government’s Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This year’s federal stimulus plan includes $2 billion for the program, but details on applying for those dollars are not expected until May, Hoy said.

The homes would be available to people earning up to 120% of area median income. Based on 2008 data, individuals earning up to $49,000 and families of four earning up to $79,000 would qualify, though Hoy said the program might use updated 2009 income data.



Broker steps us with buyer job-loss protection
2009/03/26, 6:12 pm
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A number of companies, including Keller Williams Realty in South Florida, are offering to cover mortgage payments for borrowers for six months in the event of a job loss.

Keller Williams’ program is for FHA, VA, and USDA (rural housing) loans; and it could eventually be expanded to include conventional financing. To be eligible, households must be able to qualify for unemployment benefits.

The South Florida pilot program could be offered to buyers across the country in the coming months, a company representative says.

Among the others offering job-loss help are companies outside of real estate, including a car manufacturer and a retail car dealer. A new-home builder is stepping in with help, too.

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Paul Owers (03/26/09)

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