2018 in Review and A Look Ahead

2018 2019 real estate highlightsAs we say good bye to 2018 and enter into the second month of 2019, we can reflect on some of the highlights in the real estate market last year.  2018 was a good year; however, there are a few trends that we should keep our eye on.

Total Sales for December were flat (less than a 1% change from December 2017) and are down 6% for the year compared to last year. The number of properties that are in an Under Contract status are 9% lower than compared to 2017. Inventory; there are 2,197 total listings on the market in the entire MLS compared to 2,091 in 2017. The 2018 Median sale price of $343,000 has been on the rise since 2012 and remains about the same as 2017. Land prices are up 3% over last year.

Distressed inventory continues to drop. This includes both short sales and foreclosures. There are just 23 properties listed for sale that are either bank owned or short sale. These make up a very small percentage of inventory and sales as compared to 2013 when they were at record highs.

real estate highlightsFor the past three years, Kill Devil Hills has been the hottest market of all the areas on the Outer Banks. The average sales price there is just under $300,000 and well below the MLS average. Corolla has the highest average sales price at just over $560,000.

Just for fun, the most expensive home on the Outer Banks is listed at $5,499,000 and is in Southern Shores. This is a 14,000 square foot 6-bedroom Creekfront Home in the gated community of Martin’s Point.

real estate highlightsContrast this with the least expensive home located in Manns Harbour for $99,000.  This is a 750 sf. Mobile home. Any takers?

Looking ahead. We are looking at interest rates beginning to rise as the stock market shows signs of improvement after tanking in October 2018. Rates haven’t really moved since then but that could change. Overall, with prices stable and flat, a manageable inventory, and rates still below 5%, this could be a very opportune time to enter the real estate market, both as a buyer or a seller.

Rick Drumm 2018 2019 HighlightsPlease feel free to contact me if you are looking to buy or sell Outer Banks real estate.  I’d love to put my 23+ years of real estate experience to work you. Remember, “Homework” is what I do best!

Richard Drumm

Real Estate Selling Tips for Your Home on the Outer Banks

“US homes more valuable than ever before.” and “buyers unable to find homes” are the most typical headlines you will see any real estate news page. The reason is simple- shortage in the market. But, to you, as a seller, that does not mean that you should just go out there and list you home straight away, no! Here are some tips for sellers in Nags Head, Corolla, Duck, Kill Devil Hills or anywhere on the North Carolina beaches.

The First Impression is the Last Impression

Sounds old, but still it’s the most practical thing, especially when you are selling your home. Just imagine you want to buy a vacation home, you drive by the house before setting an appointment and it doesn’t look good form the outside. You would just drive to the next home.

What to do?

  • Green your lawn. Clean it, make sure all the dried leaves are swept out.
  • Clean. Sweep the walkways and remove all the debris.
  • Trim the trees and shrubs, mow and edge the grass.
  • Paint- just a touch up to make it look fresh

Invest Wisely

One of the most common mistakes sellers make is investing too much in renovation and remodeling. Consider your likely return on investment before going for a whole kitchen remodeling or bathroom redesign. Talk to your Realtor about this!

What to do?

  • Do not over invest.
  • Make small improvements- getting your home painted always works. Get plumbing repairs done.
  • Do a little research. Find the preferences of buyers in the region, see what colors they prefer.

Appoint the Right Real Estate Agent

This is the most important part. Firstly, don’t do it by yourself. Real estate market is complex, it’s competitive. Hiring a professional is the only way to get the top dollar for your home. Secondly, hire the right one. Ask questions, consider their experience, and know the expected sale value they can deliver. Not just that, make sure their goal synchronize with yours.

What to do?

  • Don’t to it by yourself. Never.
  • Get in touch with recent clients
  • Have a look at their current projects.
  • Do your research.

List and Price It Right

Sellers usually tend to price it high initially, and when the home fails to sell at the price, they lower it. The fact is, the first thirty days of activity in the market when you list your home is the best activity for you. If you want to sell it quick and for the best price:

What to do?

  • Don’t overprice. In fact, experts believe that pricing it lower than the numbers you get actually helps.
  • List when the time is right. Do your homework, research for the perfect timing before you list. Your agent will help you out here.

Present a Clean House

When the buyers come to see your home, they visualize themselves living in it. Make it easy for them, make them feel that it could be their dream home.

What to do?

  • Remove all your personals. They distract the buyers.
  • Clean, clean and clean. Make your house look well maintained.


Apart from that, market your home well, trust your real estate agent and know that the competent professional will bring you more return than you spend on their commission.

If your interested in finding out about the best way to market your home on the Outer Banks give me call.

Ken Baittinger

Outer Banks Beach House: Time to Buy or Sell?

Before I jump right in with a resounding “yes” I hope to answer more than the question of whether it is time to buy or sell an Outer Banks beach house. I want you to see the positive outlook for both buyers and sellers alike. I would like to think that anyone will do well from either side of the [negotiating] table as prices have not skyrocketed like the early-to-middle years of the previous decade. Given the current economic conditions and financial policies in place we should not see a bubble like that again in our lifetime, hopefully. Either way, the year-over-year gains is a confidence booster for all parties.

According to the Outer Banks Association, or REALTOR MLS, single family homes have seen modest gains in prices (~1.4% annually) over the past 5 years as well as shorter average time on market (~5.9% less time) and decreasing discounts off asking prices (less than 5% off, versus a little over 6%). These are some of the favorable market attributes from the sellers’ perspective. What’s in it for the buyers? Five years of gains (remember I said modest) instills confidence in the market. The gains aren’t enough to have buyers feeling “priced out” and, 5 years of gains shows that the tide has most likely turned for the next upcycle. To offset the small increase in cost of ownership, due to price appreciation, the interest rates are down about 1 full percentage point in that same time period; according to Freddie Mac. I even saw a 3.75% rate for a 30-year loan with no origination points on a lender’s rate sheet last week!! Since recordkeeping of mortgage rates has been tabulated by Freddie Mac in the early 1970s, this is the 2nd lowest average rate year we’ve seen. The lowest was in 2012. There is a lot of chatter out there in the markets saying that the rates could possibly go even lower.

When the conditions are right, it’s always a great time to buy or sell a home. Currently, we are in a favorable market for either side. If you are buying or selling a vacation rental home, now is one of the best times of year to get in the market, or get your home on the market for sale. The main rental season starts at the end of May. There is a strong demand to purchase rental homes and to time the closing to where the rental income begins flowing immediately, or shortly after closing. In many cases, rental deposits have already been taken and would be an instant bonus at closing for the buyers. The bonus for the sellers is that the discount (off of asking price) is at its lowest on the closings occurring between April and July, which translates to contract signing occurring between February and May.

adamFor a complimentary professional consultation for buying and/or selling Outer Banks real estate, feel free to call or email me anytime. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Adam Burkhimer
(252) 256-0086

**All statistics and real estate statistical references are sourced from OBAR MLS 01/01/2011 – 12/31/2015

7 Reasons Why This Is The Best Real Estate Market In 5 Years

Let’s take a moment and review why this is the greatest Real Estate market we’ve seen in the last 5 to 7 years. There are 7 very specific reasons why it is, although I’m sure I’m missing a few, which is motivating many, including your friends and family, and maybe even you, to consider buying or selling in 2015.

7 Reasons Why This Is The Best Real Estate Market In 5 Years

  1. Interest rates are extremely low and are projected to rise over the next 12 months.  3.625% now vs. 5.25% according to the Association of Realtors’ projection, which equals a 9% savings!
  2. The banks have money to lend and are lending it. They’ve had a lot of money for a long time and because of the nature of the market they are now starting to lend that money out.
  3. Prices in most areas of the Outer Banks are incredibly low because of the recession we’ve experienced.
  4. The inventory is low, partially because of the shrinkage in the REO side, and because demand is building.
  5. There’s a tremendous number of first time buyers for primary, second, and vacation homes in the marketplace because of points one through four.
  6. The appraisers are finally playing nice for the first time in a long time, which always makes everybody happy.
  7. In the U.S. there is a national election coming up in November 2016 and the market always gets better before a national election.

The Best Real Estate MarketFor more detailed information on the current state of the Outer Banks real estate market, please feel free to call Danny Denyak at (252) 256-1818 or email him at dfenyak@outerbanksblue.com.