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Archive for the ‘FOR PROPERTY OWNERS’ Category

What a Start!

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Landfall Realty has seen record numbers of sales for the January/February period, with 18 transactions closed or pending.  This exceeds the 2005 totals!  With sales traffic still healthy, and the traditional sales season just beginning, confidence is growing that 2012 will be a far better year than 2011, which was itself a far better year than 2010.

We also are pleased to see some new spec homes being built in Landfall.  LFR has already listed two new homes that have sold, and we are working with builders on several more about to be put under construction.  We have also paired several home site buyers with builders, evidence that the custom home construction business is also improving.

It has been a long time coming, but better times are finally here.  As a completed and essentially debt free community, we have long known that Landfall is perfectly positioned for a rebounding market.  Buyers are now confirming that belief.

Wilmington and the Cost of Living

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A recent study from Chapel Hill examined the 25 largest cities in North Carolina to determine which community gave its tax payers the best value for the monies paid to their town in taxes, utilities and service fees.  Wilmington, NC was determined to be the best value of any city in the State.  This is likely one of the many reasons that Landfall, in Wilmington, remains one of the most desirable retirement destinations in the Carolina’s, and has been for more than 20 years.

Happy New Year!

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From all the Landfall Realty team, a Happy New Year to all our friends and clients.  2011 was a great year for Landfall Realty, highlighted by our move to much improved office facilities  adjacent to the Drysdale gate.   Despite the general housing malaise nationally, 2011 was a healthy year for the company, and we owe that to the support of Landfall residents and our many clients, in Landfall and throughout the country.  We anticiapte that even more people in 2012 will discover why Landfall is the perfect place to live!

Landfall Realty’s Mid Year Real Estate Forum

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Ken Kirkman, Landfall Realty’s general manager, (and a real estate attorney and developer as well) hosted the company’s mid year real estate forum on Wednesday night, July 7, at Country Club of Landfall.  As has been the case in the past, a good number of Landfall residents turned out to hear Kirkman comment on national real estate trends, review what has gone on in the Landfall market for the past six months, predict what the next months and years will likely bring, and make suggestions to those considering selling or buying property.  As always, the session ended with questions from the audience being addressed.

Attendees modified

Forum Attendees

Future posts will follow with additional comments, but one question posed by an attendee was how important Country Club of Landfall is to the Landfall real estate market.  Kirkman indicated that having a high quality club, debt free, in good condition is critical to Landfall’s short and long term value.  While perhaps only 25% of residents play golf regularly, others use the sports and dining facilities.  Of equal importance, the vast open, green spaces created by a quality golf course add value to all properties, and enhance the ability to resell.  Kirkman noted that in another development a poll of purchasers revealed that about 65% of the buyers would not have purchased had a golf course not been planned, while only 25%of them intended to play golf.  Clearly, the health of the real estate market and Country Club of Landfall are inexorably linked.

Forum Postcript, Part 3

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Continuing my summary recap of Landfall Realty’s recent Real Estate Forum held at Landfall Country Club, I called attention to some of the points made by Bob Seelert in his book  “Start With the Answer.”  Loosely stated, some of those points are:

1) Get the truth on the table, don’t pretend.

2) Establish standards and expectations based on a new reality.

3) Think long term; act short term.

4) Communicate with members of your own team.

5) Listen to and learn from your customers and peers.

These points are,  I believe, valuable in running any business.  However, they have particular validity in establishing a relationship between a real estate agent and a real estate customer.  In my next blog, I will expand upon these point in the context of selling and buying property in Landfall, NC.

Kenneth M. Kirkman, general manager, Landfall Realty

Homebuyer Tax Credit EXPANDED!

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We at Landfall Realty are excited about the creation of the Homebuyer Tax Credit enacted into law earlier this month.  The fact that the bill has been expanded to include other than first home purchasers is a huge bonus and may present a real opportunity for qualified purchasers! Now, existing homeowners are eligible for a $6,500 tax CREDIT upon purchase of a qualifying home if they have occupied their current home for 5 of the previous 8 years, and if their combined income is less than $225,000.  This credit is available in the year of closing (2009 or 2010).  The qualifying purchase contract must be executed prior to April 30, 2010, and  go to closing prior to July 1, 2010.  The maximum purchase price for the new home purchased is $800,000 with no exceptions.  For more information and a summary chart of the new tax credit (and the extented first home buyer credit as well)  please contact Landfall Realty at 910-256-6111.   Remember, a tax credit is far more valuable than a deduction, as it offsets tax dollars owed on a dollar for dollar basis.

Forum Postscript, Part 2

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Another of the topics touched upon in the recent Landfall Real Estate Forum was national trends in the 55 years of age and older population.   A few of those trends, as reported in various builder and real estate studies, include the following:

  1. There is a strong preference for single family, detached homes.
  2. Most buyers want single floor construction, and almost all want master bedroom and living space on the lower level, even if the home is multi-story.
  3. About 75% like the open floor plan home, where the kitchen and primary family room are free flowing.
  4. Technology is important.   Fiber to the home is great; multiple phone and computer connections are desired.
  5. Far fewer prospects than during the boom are willing to pay extra for “green” features that have environmental benefits, but efficiency that saves money (such as energy savings) are still sought.
  6. More pre-retirees are considering staying put, rather than relocating when retirement comes.

Fortunately, more potential customers in Landfall’s prime market region, the northeast, are likely to relocate than those in warmer climates, and there is some pent up demand since the slow down in the national real estate market has drug on for a couple of years now.

As a seller, be cognizant of how your home stacks up with the desires of the majority of the market.  The closer to the ideal, the more marketable the home.

Kenneth M. Kirkman, General Manager, Landfall Realty

Landfall Real Estate Forum Postscript

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Real Estate Forum at CCL

Real Estate Forum at CCL

Thanks to the 120 or so Landfall residents who came to the Landfall Realty Fall Real Estate Forum Wednesday at Country Club of Landfall.   I was happy to see such a diversity of age, background and interest.   Our attendees clearly understand that the value of property, and its pace of sale, impacts all residents in a significant way.

I trust those in attendance recognized that in these forums I attempt to go well beyond the numbers by focusing on trends, and making observations about what I and my Landfall Realty staff expect to see in the future, fully recognizing that despite our extensive experience and research, we, like everyone else, might be fooled.   Several attendees commented as I left the Club that they had expected to hear a typical real estate rah-rah presentation, and were pleasantly surprised by the rather analytical approach I try to  take (even if the news is not all good).  My goal is to convey what I believe, not what I hope, and to give  reasons why.

In this and future blogs, I will briefly summarize some of the points that were presented in more detail at the forum.   Today, a few Landfall facts:

1) The total number of transactions in 2009 will likely be just a few short of the transactions in 2008, but the average selling home price is down more than $100,000.

2) Sales prices on average are at about 2005 levels.

3) Homes are selling better than home sites.

4) Lower priced homes are selling at a much better pace than more expensive homes.

5) The pace of construction of new homes may be at an all time low, as only 2 applications are now in front of the ARB.

6)  By the end of 2010, Landfall will have, or least will be nearing, 1500 completed homes.

7) The sales pace has been stronger late summer and fall than it had been earlier in the year.

More to come.   Again, thanks to those in attendance.  Your feedback is always appreciated, whether by response to this blog, or email, or phone.

Kenneth M. Kirkman, General Manager

Wilmington Restaurant Week October 21-October 28

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food

Wilmington Restaurant Week

How sweet is this deal for Landfall, NC property owners and our Wilmington, NC area neighbors??  Over 25 eating establishments are participating in an incredibly flavorful event!  You can go to the event website at http://www.wilmingtonrestaurantweek.com/ to see if your local favorite is in the group, or check to see if that eatery you’ve been dying to try is on the list.  Clicking on the restaurant will take you to the menu for the 3 or 4 course prix fixe menu and allow you to print out the necessary pass to partake of the lunch or dinner (or both).  Restaurants are scattered all around from downtown to Landfall and Wrightsville Beach and from Leland to Monkey Junction with prices ranging from $5.99 lunches and dinners at PriddyBoy’s (University Landing only) to $30.00 dinners at some of the area’s best dining experiences (think Ruth’s Chris Steak House,  Deluxe, or Oceanic  for example).  Reservations may be necessary at some locations and some of the restaurants may not include Friday and Saturday dining so be sure and note the days and times of the particular place you’re interested in before you make your plans and start partaking of these scrumptious meals.  Unfortunately, this Wilmington, NC event only lasts eight days so jump right in today and enjoy the culinary treats of our great chefs, yum!

Real Estate Forum

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A reminder that the Landfall Realty fall Real Estate Forum is today (Wednesday, October 21) at 5:30 pm at Country Club of Landfall.  All Landfall property owners are invited.  As those who attended our fall update know, we  go behind the numbers by discussing trends, and by offering observations we hope are of use to buyers, sellers, and those just interested in how the real estate market impacts all Landfall properties and their valuations and marketability.  Hope to see you late this afternoon.