The time of year when all of our star agents with St. James Plantation and River Landing head north to battle the cold, sometimes snow and sleet just to meet personally with our future homebuyers at the Live South Shows. When you go, be sure to ask about the ease of building with Hagood Homes and how you will be able to customize your plan to suit your lifestyle! Click here to find out when Live South will be in your neck of the woods.
If you live in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, you won’t want to miss this home in Leland and its display of lights. As the homeowner says, he hopes it’s a chance for your family to spend some time together and forget the stress that sometimes grabs hold of us during the holiday season.
Our wish this Christmas season is that you find peace and joy and are able to help someone less fortunate than you. Our prayer is that you are blessed, not only this holiday season, but throughout all of 2012.
From our family to yours…. Have a Merry Christmas
Around the Wilmington area our Thanksgiving holiday isn’t complete until we’ve had a chance to be thankful for the Wrightsville Beach Flotilla. This year marks the 28th annual flotilla. We suggest if you plan to come to the island for the Flotilla, you make a day (perhaps even a weekend?) of it! For all the “official” details be sure to check out www.ncholidayflotilla.org
Another joy of living in Coastal Carolina is the ability to plan a fabulous stay-cation. In fact, it is such a popular idea around here that I’ve heard friends say that they have to force themselves to leave “paradise” in order to find another paradise.
But maybe you’re newer to the area, and want to discover all we have to offer. Or maybe you have family or friends coming to visit you since you moved near the beach. The Wilmington, North Carolina area has so much to offer beside the beaches. Perhaps it’s time to see the area through the eyes of a tourist!
We would love to spotlight each attraction individually and want your input on your favorite haunts, sites and area’s must-dos! If you live in the area, please comment with your favorite space or place. If you’ve visited our area, what attraction did you enjoy the most? Maybe you’ve only read about us and are planning a visit – what’s piqued your interest? We’ll do our best to spotlight it and bring you the facts!
There’s something to be said about a porch in the south. Whether it’s the front porch or a covered or screened porch in the rear of your home – it truly adds another space for enjoyment.
With our mild winters and coastal breezes in the summer, a porch can be used virtually year round.
The front porch beckons neighbors, another facet of the southern lifestyle, to sit a spell. It demands that you slow down and enjoy the moment, even as the world around you may be in chaos. Not so on the front porch.
The rear porch is a place where memories are born. Dining al fresco with your family and friends. Front row seats to the smell of coming treats from the grill. A place to sit and relax and catch up on a novel or sip your morning coffee.
We would love to hear how you enjoy your porch – or how you WOULD enjoy a porch – please share!
…We Consider it An Honor to Welcome Kevin Aboard!
Kevin grew up in Eastern NC enjoying the outdoors, water sports and athletics as a youth. He graduated college from UNC-Chapel Hill majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. Upon graduation he successfully completed the CPA exam and joined the national accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co specializing in the real estate industry.
He left the public accounting profession to pursue his true interest of real estate development when he was recruited by Governors Club Development Corp of Chapel Hill to be their Chief Financial Officer. While at Governors Club he worked closely with all aspects of managing residential real estate development including sales, marketing, construction, land development and club management.
After 10 years of success in Chapel Hill, Kevin returned to Eastern NC to work with Pete Murphy and his family, founders of Murphy Family Farms, to create the prestigious 2,000 acre River Landing community in Wallace. While at River Landing, the community generated over 1,300 homesite sales generating over $125 million in revenue.
With over 20 years of residential real estate development experience involving over 2,400 real estate transactions, Kevin is excited to join Jim and Troy Kenny at Hagood Homes, Inc. as Vice President with a focus on Sales. His aim? To continue turning owners dreams into reality and having fun in the process.
Please join us in welcoming Kevin into the Hagood Homes fold!
Not all tears are shed in pain. Some tears are those of appreciation and deep gratitude. Such were the tears from Alice when asked how she liked her grandson’s new room.
Tre’s room was recently made over thanks to a generous grant from “Welcome Home Angel” Trepreme, Alice’s 14 year old grandson has been wheelchair bound all his life. His communication is limited but the joy his new tv brings him is undeniable.
Welcome Home Angel, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2007. The mission: “is to bring joy and comfort to children in the Southeastern North Carolina area with chronic and debilitating illnesses or injuries.”
When Welcome Home Angel asked Hagood Homes to oversee the project, we never imagined the response from our subcontractors and vendors would be so benevolent, especially in these tough economic times.
Tre’s room and a porch were renovated to include an en-suite bath with a large roll-in tile shower. Up until the renovation, Alice was lifting the growing child into a bathtub, not an easy task! Shortly, a lift will be installed from trey’s bed to the bathroom to help ease the task further. Hardwood flooring was installed in the hallway and bedroom for ease with the use of the wheelchair.
After the renovation, Mary Virginia and Troy Kenny of Hagood Homes, began the decorating. the walls were painted a soothing blue, a rug with padding and pillows placed on the floor for exercise and tv time. And Tre’s favorite feature, a large flatscreen television was hung on the wall for easy visibility.
Welcome Home Trepreme!
Thank you to the many subcontractors and vendors that so graciously donated their time, effort and resources to such a worthy cause!
Ronnie Cook – Hagood Homes superintendent
Mary Virginia Freeman – Hagood Homes Decorator
Troy & Jim Kenny – Hagood Homes owners
Bonnie Bennett Smith – Florida Tile Company
Perry Mansfield – Mansfield Brothers
Dayton Kayler- C.K. Supply
Larry Lewis – Larry Lewis Painting
Joe Owens - Real Construction & Repair
Ken Tilley – Eastern Insulation
Ron Williams – ACDC Electric
Dave Fortuna – Fortuna Framing
Randy Seigel – Signature Plumbing
Mike Bozik – Professional Builders
Kevin Niebauer – Ferguson Plumbing
Glenn Mobley – Pack Rat
J & S Ventures
Ryan Palmer – Creative Flooring
Part two in our series “Adjusting to Southern Life”
In the previous post in our series to help those moving south adjust to our ways, we discussed the considerable slowdown of lifestyle. This said slowdown isn’t just reserved for day to day activities. It also plays a role in other facets of life, such as speech. When it comes to speaking “southern”, molasses is the name of the game, as in “slow as….”
Words should be drawn out, often adding syllables, not denoted in Webster’s Dictionary. For example, the word, “mail” to a northerner is just one lonely syllable. A southerner does a fine job of turning the lonely syllable into two, pronounced, “ma-el”. Do you see the distinction?
Proper names receive the same attention. While in the north, the common trend is to shorten a name to one syllable when possible (i.e Robert to Bob, Suzanne to Sue, Michael to Mike). A southerner takes pride in the length of their name. “Bob” would likely be affectionately called, “Robert Lee”. “Sue” becomes Suzanne Clarabelle” and “Mike” would be “Michael Beauregard” . To further extend the name, it’s not uncommon for all three names, first, middle and last to be used.
In addition to the slowdown of speech, there are several terms and phrases it would be useful to know if you are moving south.
Y’all – can be used to refer to a group of people or even just one person
Bless Your Heart – This one is tricky. It could be a true sign of compassion or a blanket statement on the obvious downfall of another, such as, “why isn’t Suzanne Clarabelle joining us for lunch today?” “Oh, well, you know, she had a hair appointment with a new stylist yesterday, bless her heart.”
Might Could – a classic example of adding words when not needed – “Suzanne Clarabelle might could make an appointment with my stylist to fix the mess the other stylist made, bless her heart.” It should be noted that one could also use, “might should”
Comin’ up a cloud – looks like rain
You Know Not – You’re joking
Bar-B-Que – this is a noun, not a verb. In the north, it’s what we are doing on the grill, in the south it’s what we eat.
Pig Pickin’ – this is an event. Y’all will just love this. A pig-pickin’ is when a pig (just about all of it) is thrown on a large cooker. When it’s done cooking, folks pick right from the pig. What comes from the pig is known as “bar-b-que” (see above)
These should get you started. Being hospitable and all, we welcome your comments and observations on the southern vernacular. So leave a comment, ya’ hear?
Since the majority of our customers live out of town, we make it a habit to send frequent updates on the progress of construction on their new home. Recently we sent such an update to our buyers looking forward to moving from Long Island, New York to the home we are building for them in River Landing. They promptly sent us a return email containing this picture:
If you are interested in trading in your snow shovel for the warm Carolina breezes, post a picture on our Facebook page by liking us, get your friends to “like” us, too and “like” your photo. The photo with the most likes will be eligible for $12,500 towards upgrades and customizations to their new Hagood Home! Hurry, the contest will end February 28th!
We think this incentive speaks for itself! Choose your dream home from one of the fabulous designs already created, or give us a call to design a plan that specific to your needs. But hurry, the offer expires February 28th!
And if you love technology too, you’ll understand what the above image is.
If you aren’t as big of a fan of technology as some of us, just understand that the above image is a tool that we are deploying to give our fans, prospects and buyers an easy way to get the latest scoop on our houses, neighborhoods and news! It’s our desire to reach you right where you are.
So what can we do to help you today?
Looking for a way to celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011? Here are a few of the events going on around the Wilmington, North Carolina area:
1. Kure Beach – Island of Lights New Years Eve Countdown – (K Avenue)
Kure Beach will ring in the New Year by lowering a lighted beach ball. Age appropriate for all, the event starts at 9:00pm and ends with spectacular fireworks at midnight. In between enjoy dancing in the streets with a DJ, and free refreshments
2. Take a cruise on the Henrietta III Riverboat
Pre-paid reservations are needed to enjoy the Downtown Wilmington landmark, the Henrietta III steamboat. Come aboard to enjoy dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvre buffet, party favors and a midnight champagne toast! Visit their website for more information!
3. Noon Countdown at The Children’s Museum
The Children’s Museum downtown will ring in the New Year at noon with confetti and noisemakers! Admission is free for members and $7.00 or $8.00 for non-members. What a great way to let the younger kids celebrate!
4. Countdown Downtown
Three downtown pubs host three bands and offer party favors and a pizza buffet just after midnight – watch the ball drop in Downtown Wilmington. Check out the website for details on ticket pricing.
Don’t miss out on all the specials local restaurants and pubs have as well! However you decide to celebrate, please be safe! We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!!!
In our previous post in this series we discussed, in length, value. Noting that value is perceived and often in the eye of the beholder. We also pointed out it is a good practice for buyers and their agents to put a dollar amount on the value in order to negotiate wisely.
In this post, we’ll discuss already reduced pricing and how it affects a new home.
In years past, before the “Great Recession”, builders generally didn’t negotiate. At least a builder who knew their product and their prices didn’t. When a builder decides to build a speculative home (a home that hasn’t already been sold as a custom home), they take a look at their costs, their budget, etc. and derive a sales price – including profit. It would surprise most business people to hear the average profit margin of a builder.
We hear the argument all the time, “well, back in ‘04 the builders were making huge profit”. That may be true, but that is the law of supply and demand. There was huge demand for homes (new or resale) so builders were able to make a bit more profit. That’s the way capitalism works.
So why are builders reducing prices now when they didn’t in the past? They are generally foregoing any profit, and in some instances paying the bank to sell their homes as a necessity to get the inventory off the books.
If you are a buyer looking at new homes that have been on the market for a while, more than likely, your buyer’s agent has showed you the property history which include price reductions. The above should be considered when you are making your offer. If it is a home that you truly want to live in and you are asking for a greater price reduction, you may miss out. Due to credit crunches, the builder may just not have the means to reduce the home even further and still stay in business.
The other point to consider is how you are affecting the value of your home, before you even move in! When the price is reduced, it lowers the price of the next one that sells – until the market turns from buyer’s market to seller’s market.
The last post in this series “The Search Is On!” was a over six months ago. A lot can happen in those six months. We ultimately decided on the first neighborhood we looked we considered. Why? Honestly, it didn’t have much to do with our ranking list, but more with our emotions. Lesson learned: I don’t care who you are, unless the property you are buying is strictly an investment, there is always some level of emotion involved. Ultimately, we chose the neighborhood we felt would be safe for our family, a good long term investment, and a place where our house plan would fit. Then the fun really began.
We began the negotiation process. The initial response from one of the agents involved was pretty much a flat “no”. The other agent involved was experienced, or wise enough to ask me to put it in writing so she could present it to the seller. Thank goodness for that wisdom. We ended up coming to an agreement that we would have otherwise not have come to if it wasn’t for her. Lesson learned: with so much inventory on the market, seller’s agents shouldn’t be hasty in making the decision for their sellers. What a developer or builder is willing to negotiate can change from day to day.
Once the homesite decision was out of the way, the real fun began. I have to say, that every person in the building industry should really build their personal home in order to see it from the other side. Again, when there is emotion involved, the buyer doesn’t care why the subcontractor is late in delivering. They are dealing with every day life, along with the stress of financing a new home and the dream of when they will live in their new home.
So now, our home is nearly complete (hopefully we will be moving in within the next week or so) and all things considered, I’m thrilled! Our team at Hagood Homes and our vendors and subcontractors have been a delight to work with. Mary Virginia, our decorator was fabulous with keeping me on track with my budget versus what I wanted (which surprise, surprise, rarely jives). The building process was so organized that by the time we requested our first construction draw, we were at almost 50% complete (which means less interest payments!)
We have downsized our living space, but the plans available through Hagood Homes are so expertly designed that it is actually more space than really needed (with a smaller price tag!)
So my conclusion, building a new home was definitely well worth the effort and time. I got what I wanted, without much hassle and I don’t have to worry about how someone else has lived in MY house. Bottom line, when I looked at what was on the market and compared it to what I would be getting it was a no-brainer!
There are many reasons you may choose one neighbor over another when your doing your home shopping. Certainly one of those reasons includes who you will be living near. As the old saying goes, “birds of a feather…” If you are a caring, benevolent type of person, River Landing should be on your list of neighborhoods to shop when considering your new home. The Wilmington StarNews recently ran an article on the graciousness of the neighbors toward Jacksonville Marines, who were away from family on Thanksgiving. The neighbors of River Landing opened their homes, and their amenities to the Marines who were able to play a round of golf, canoe, and get some much needed R&R before eating their Thanksgiving Feast with their “host family”.
Plan to visit the sales agents at River Landing in the coming months and be sure to ask them how Hagood Homes can match your dream neighborhood with your dream home. We promise you’ll be landing a hole in one!
Thanksgiving marks a tradition of gathering and remembering blessings. This Thanksgiving, especially, Hagood Homes would like to specifically thank all of our past homeowners, current homeowners and those considering a Hagood Home. It is our honor and privilege to work closely with you while designing and planning your home. We truly delight in watching your excitement build as your home is built. We enjoy hearing your stories and watching your families grow in your homes.
More than anything we appreciate and value the trust you place in us to build your home.
Thank you. Sincerely.
One of the things we love about living in Coastal North Carolina are the mild fall and winter days. Today is no exception.
Perfect weather for golfing, biking, fishing, or just about any outdoor activity (sans skiing). Weather for the week of Thanksgiving? Definitely something to be thankful for!
In case you didn’t get a chance to see it, Courtyards at Regency in Landfall was featured in the Wilmington StarNews recently. The response was wonderful! Apparently, easy living and country club memberships all wrapped up in one are appealing!
Make your appointment today to see our model in Landfall by calling Alison Bernhardt at 910.256.6111.
Warning: I am generally a Seller’s Agent, so this post will most likely be from the Seller’s point of view. However, one of the greatest tools of negotiating is to get in the mind of your “opponent”, so hopefully you’ll continue reading and glean some helpful information.
For the sake of this post, we are going to keep the tips to new homes that are already complete (speculative homes) not custom homes or pre-sales. There’s no reason any sane builder would negotiate their pricing on custom or pre-sale, it doesn’t make sense for a for-profit company to negotiate away their profit before they even show up to do the work.
When negotiating to purchase a new home, I would urge the buyers and their agents to keep in mind three main points: Value, All ready reduced pricing, and Budget vs. Equity. In future posts I’ll address the issue of all ready reduced pricing and Budget vs. Equity. Today, we’ll talk about value.
Oft times, value is simply perception. What I hold as valuable, may not hold the same value to the next perspective buyer and vice versa. When the market started to falter for sellers, it seemed the general thought process of builders was to add as many upgrades as possible to the home. We just knew the buyers would see all the glitz and glitter as a value and purchase the home. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. In fact, in several successful neighbors, the trend we began seeing was buyers purchasing at a low base price and adding the features that were important to them – sometimes over 25% more in upgrades. What we realized is that each individual buyer perceived value differently, were willing to pay for what they perceived as value, but wanted that control.
With all the homes on the market, a buyer could be looking at an apple and an orange and trying to decide between the two. Let’s take a real life scenario to demonstrate my point: (names have been changed to protect the identities)
Becky Buyer has narrowed in on a particular neighborhood, where she wants to be for retirement. Becky isn’t quite ready to retire, in fact she has two years to go and is working in another state. However, Becky Buyer is smart. She knows that the current interest rates, coupled with the fantastic deals are not going to be around forever and in fact she is listening to reports in the media of the strong possibility of rising interest rates to combat inflation. Becky Buyer clearly remembers the interest rates in the 80’s and is wishing to avoid paying 15% or more.
(Side note, it seems that recently everyone we talk to is retiring and moving in two years. Is that a farce????)
Becky has watched the prices coming down in the neighborhood she is already sold one. She has chosen two properties. One property is a resale single family home. It has a big yard and garden and vinyl siding. The home was built in ‘02, so it could stand a little updating, the price of the home was recently reduced to $175,000. The next property is a new two bedroom brick townhome also with a price reduction to $184,900. Currently, these two homes are the least expensive homes in the neighborhood.
Becky decides to make a verbal offer (which isn’t really an offer in terms of selling real estate) on the townhome, her first pick, of $160,000.
At this point, the buyer’s agent should be addresses several issues. The first of which is the verbal offer. If a buyer isn’t willing to put their name on the dotted line, they aren’t really committed, they aren’t really buyers. In this instance, we are assuming that the would-be buyer believes her offer won’t be accepted and doesn’t want to waste time but has a sliver of hope it will be accepted and thinks, “it doesn’t hurt to ask”.
The second issue is that of value. With the verbal offer, the sellers were told Becky was also considering the resale home. As far as we know she hasn’t made an offer on the resale and she isn’t sure what she could get the resale for (even though public comments in the MLS suggest all offers will be considered). We are also assuming the new townhome is Becky’s first choice.
In the grand scheme of things, there’s a big difference between the two properties. One is a resale – it’s been lived in for 8 years, along with the general wear and tear, 8 years of life of the roof, the HVAC, the plumbing, etc has been used as opposed to the new townhome. It also has a large yard and garden, opposed to no yard in the townhome. One is vinyl, one is brick. These differences (with the exception of the used versus new) are neutral and fall in line with perceived value.
As a buyer’s agent, it would be at this point where I would take the opportunity to sit down with a Pro’s and Con’s list. Do you, Becky Buyer, prefer to do your landscaping or would you prefer someone to do it for you. Do you prefer brick or do you prefer vinyl? etc., etc.
Once the list is compiled it would be prudent to give an actual dollar amount to those items which the buyer values. Perhaps it would look something like this:
|Estimated Sales Price *||$169,750||$169,750|
|Brick vs. Vinyl||+ $10,000|
|Yard Maintenance||+ $5,000|
|Wear & Tear of New vs. Resale||+$10,000|
|Updated aesthetics||+ $5,000|
|Total Sales price based on value||$169,750||$189,750|
*Homes in the chosen neighborhood have sold in the last 6 months for 97% of asking price, for the purpose of this scenerio, we’ll assume that trend will continue and go with the lower estimated sales price.
Brick and vinyl are both low maintenance, but Becky Buyer prefers the look of the brick and likes the fact that she won’t have to pressure wash every six months to keep the house looking clean. She is in fact, retiring to the area and doesn’t want the upkeep.
Yard Maintenance isn’t fun for Becky Buyer. In fact, she will be using her purchase as a second home for the next two years until she retires, so she will definitely be paying someone to tend to the yard until then. Conservatively, it will cost $5,000 for just the next two years and she will just have to grin and bear it when she’s taking care of it in the future.
Wear and Tear and Upgraded Aesthetics – it will cost Becky more than $15,000 to update the resale, but some of the items she can live without – she probably won’ t HAVE to replace the roof for another 10 years, and she can live with formica countertops…
The resale offers an extra bedroom and an extra garage space. Becky could use the extra room for storage and the occasional guest.
As you will note, the value of the townhome now becomes greater than the asking price. These numbers are all based on the value perceived by the buyer.
Stay tuned for more…