Charleston in the News - June 2024 Edition

Sat, Jun 1st 2024 1:57 pm by Alan Donald Charleston

Departures Board

We have some wide ranging local news to share this month. Be sure to follow the links provided to find out more about any items of special interest to you.

On the transportation front, two airlines are adding nonstop services from Charleston: Breeze Airways will offer four flights per week to Los Angeles (LAX) starting mid-June and Spirit Airlines will fly four times per week to Detroit (DTW) beginning mid-July. Tradd Advisory, a third-party freight transport logistics services provider that advises clients, carriers and agents on effective freight handling strategies, will be expanding its operations in Mount Pleasant, creating 100 new jobs over the next five years.

In the technology...

How Many Homes Are Investors Actually Buying?

Fri, May 31st 2024 7:28 pm by Alan Donald Investors

Investor Reading Paper

Are big investors really buying up all the homes today?

If you’re trying to find a house to buy, this may be something you’re wondering about. Maybe you’ve read about it or seen reels on social media saying investors buying all the homes is making it even harder to find what the average buyer is looking for. But spoiler alert – there’s a lot of misinformation out there. To clear things up, here's the scoop on what's really happening. A lot of the big investor activity is actually in the rearview mirror already.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) explains:

“Investors of all sizes spent billions of dollars buying homes during the pandemic. At the 2022 peak, they bought more than one in ev...

How Do Climate Risks Affect Your Next Home?

Fri, May 31st 2024 10:30 am by Alan Donald Real Estate


Climate change is impacting where people buy homes.

As the experts at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explain:

“Sixty-three percent of people who have moved since the pandemic began say they believe climate change is—or will be—an issue in the place they currently live.”

If you’re planning to move, climate change is something you might want to consider, no matter where you are. A recent study from helps put the growing impact climate change is having on real estate into perspective (see below):

Clinate Risks

So, how can you be sure your investment is safe from the elements?

For starters, work with a local real estate agent to understand the likelihood of your future ho...

Unlocking the Secrets of the 1031 Exchange

Thu, May 30th 2024 11:15 am by Alan Donald Real Estate

The Secrets of a 1031 Exchange

Many astute investors are familiar with the primary requirements of a successful 1031 exchange, which, when executed correctly, allows for the deferral of significant capital gains taxes on the sale of an investment property. However, delving deeper into the process reveals many subtleties that are often overlooked. Here are some crucial finer points to consider.

Common Knowledge About (Forward) 1031 Exchanges

  • Your replacement property must be of equal or greater value than the one you are selling (the relinquished property).
  • You need to use a Qualified Intermediary (QI) to perform the exchange. The QI needs to be a trustworthy entity/person, as they will hold your funds in their n...

Should I Wait for Mortgage Rates To Come Down Before I Move?

Wed, May 1st 2024 6:44 pm by Alan Donald Real Estate

Should I Wait for Mortgage Rates To Come Down Before I Move?

Should I Wait to Move?

If you’ve got a move on your mind, you may be wondering whether you should wait to sell until mortgage rates come down before you spring into action. Here’s some information that could help answer that question for you.

In the housing market, there’s a longstanding relationship between mortgage rates and buyer demand. Typically, the higher rates are, you’ll see lower buyer demand. That’s because some people who want to move will be hesitant to take on a higher mortgage rate for their next home. So, they decide to wait it out and put their plans on hold.

But when rates start to come down, things change. It goes from limited ...

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Charleston in the News - May 2024 Edition

Wed, May 1st 2024 4:16 pm by Alan Donald Charleston

Container Ship SC Ports Matthew Peacock

Image courtesy of SC Ports - Matthew Peacock

What a diverse mix of local news we have to share with you this month! Since we’re short on space (and time) to provide many details, be sure to use the links provided to find out more about the items that interest you most.

In industrial news, SC Ports experienced a significant increase in year-over-year container volume growth in March, driven largely by “a 17% increase in loaded imports and strong intermodal cargo movements”. TEUs increased 12%, pier containers 11% and vehicles 15% over March of last year. Containers moved at Inland Ports Greer and Dillon were up 8%, while rail moves were up 22% at Inland Port Greer. This growth in port ...

Charleston in the News - April 2024 Edition

Mon, Apr 1st 2024 3:30 pm by Alan Donald Charleston

Charleston Waterways

This month, we focus on local news relating to our waterfront and waterways. Across Greater Charleston - from our barrier islands to Charleston Harbor as well as along and over our rivers - these areas are abuzz with new developments big and small, in planning and underway! Here are some on our radar.

On the Isle of Palms, a small waterfront park along the Intracoastal Waterway is close to completion near the marina. It will consist of a boardwalk, a public dock with kayak launch, kayak storage, green space, seating and parking for golf carts and bicycles. Another park is planned for an undeveloped, long and narrow 24-acre tract of land along the Stono River on James Island. Known as...

What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Closing Costs

Wed, Mar 27th 2024 1:50 pm by Alan Donald Real Estate


Before making the decision to buy a home, it's important to plan for all the costs you’ll be responsible for.

While you're busy saving for the down payment, don't forget you’ll want to prep for closing costs too.

Here’s some helpful information on what those costs are and how much you should budget for them.

What Are Closing Costs?

A recent article from Bankrate explains:

“Closing costs are the fees and expenses you must pay before becoming the legal owner of a house, condo or townhome . . . Closing costs vary depending on the purchase price of the home and how it’s being financed . . .”

Simply put, your closing costs are the additional fees and payments you have to make at closin...

Single Women Are Embracing Homeownership

Wed, Mar 27th 2024 1:46 pm by Alan Donald Alans Listings

In today's housing market, more and more single women are becoming homeowners. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 19% of all homebuyers are single women, while only 10% are single men.

If you're a single woman trying to buy your first home, this should be encouraging. It means other people are making their dreams a reality – so you can too.

Why Homeownership Matters to So Many Women

For many single women, buying a home isn't just about having a place to live—it's also a smart way to invest for the future. Homes usually increase in value over time, so they’re a great way to build equity and overall net worth. Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First American,...

Expert Home Price Forecasts for 2024 Revised Up

Thu, Feb 29th 2024 1:55 pm by Alan Donald Real Estate

Home Price Forecast

Over the past few months, experts have revised their 2024 home price forecasts based on the latest data and market signals, and they’re even more confident prices will rise, not fall.

So, let’s see exactly how experts’ thinking has shifted – and what’s caused the change.

2024 Home Price Forecasts: Then and Now

The chart below shows what seven expert organizations think will happen to home prices in 2024. It compares their first 2024 home price forecasts (made at the end of 2023) with their newest projections:

 Home Price Forecasts Detail

The middle column shows that, at first, these experts thought home prices would only go up a little this year. But if you look at the column on the right, you'll see they'...

Charleston in the News - March 2024 Edition

Thu, Feb 29th 2024 1:33 pm by Alan Donald Charleston


There’s been a lot of great news about the Charleston area recently and we can only graze the surface. This month, we’re highlighting the environment, requests for public input, and industry expansions and new arrivals. We hope you’ll follow the links provided to find out more about the topics that interest you.

Regarding the environment, we’re happy to report that South Carolina - and Charleston - are recognized as regional leaders in proactive climate planning and that there’s a new app called Recycle Coach available to help Charleston County residents with recycling. 

As for requests for public input, public meetings and open houses have been held and/or are planned regarding the R...

Why We Aren't Headed for a Housing Crash

Thu, Feb 29th 2024 11:13 am by Alan Donald Real Estate


If you’re holding out hope that the housing market is going to crash and bring home prices back down, here’s a look at what the data shows.

And spoiler alert: that’s not in the cards. Instead, experts say home prices are going to keep going up.

Today’s market is very different than it was before the housing crash in 2008. Here’s why.

It’s Harder To Get a Loan Now – and That’s Actually a Good Thing

It was much easier to get a home loan during the lead-up to the 2008 housing crisis than it is today. Back then, banks had different lending standards, making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance an existing one.

Things are different today. Homebuyers fa...

Charleston in the News - February 2024 Edition

Thu, Feb 1st 2024 12:55 pm by Alan Donald Charleston

US Migration Patterns

The Charleston area economy remains sound, attracting a growing number of industries, out-of-state relocatees and visitors. Charleston International Airport set a record in 2023 with more than 6 million travelers. Allied Van Lines’ 2023 Annual US Moving Migration Report revealed that not only was South Carolina the top inbound state for moves, but that Charleston was the top inbound city across the US and was the destination of 70% of those moving to our state! Check out the report if you’re curious to find out why people are moving here. Airlines - such as Air CanadaBreeze and Spirit - are responding to growing interest in Charleston by introducing new routes (including internation...

Charleston in the News - January 2024 Edition

Tue, Jan 2nd 2024 2:00 pm by Alan Donald Charleston

Charleston Marsh

The Charleston area economy is doing well! Here's some of the latest news...

Air Canada is adding Charleston as a nonstop destination from Toronto, Canada.  The daily international service between Charleston International Airport (CHS) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) begins March 28, 2024. It will be the state’s only daily nonstop international flight.

Contract agreements for the Battery Park riverfront development, a 50-acre project in North Charleston, have recently gained approval from the City Council. The collaborative effort of Jamestown, Weaver Capital Partners, and WECCO Development will play a crucial role in the city's initiative to revitalize the former Ch...

Why Mortgage Rates Could Continue To Decline

Mon, Jan 1st 2024 7:00 pm by Alan Donald Mortgages

Down Graph

When you read about the housing market, you’ll probably come across some information about inflation or recent decisions made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how do those two things impact you and your homebuying plans? Here's what you need to know.

The Federal Funds Rate Hikes Have Stalled

One of the Fed’s primary goals is to lower inflation. In order to do that, they started raising the Federal Funds Rate to slow down the economy. Even though this doesn’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, it does have an impact.

Recently inflation has started to cool, a signal those increases worked and are bringing inflation back down. As a result, the Fed’s hikes have got...

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Charleston in the News - December 2023 Edition

Thu, Nov 30th 2023 10:00 am by Alan Donald Newsletters

December 2023 News

Pineapple Fountain

Monopoly’s “Charleston-style” Board Unveiled, Featuring Many Local Landmarks
Top Trumps, in collaboration with Hasbro, has finally unveiled the Charleston edition of Monopoly, featuring iconic local landmarks suggested by Lowcountry residents! Some of the selected locations include the Pineapple Fountain, Angel Oak tree, Rainbow Row, Isle of Palms, and notable institutions like the Charleston Library Society and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Charities such as Charleston Animal Society and Lowcountry Food Bank are also featured, adding a charitable aspect to the game. The edition is the only licensed version in the state and is available in various stores and...

What's Happening in Charleston - December 2023 (Events)

Wed, Nov 29th 2023 1:00 pm by Alan Donald Events


Christmas in the South

It’s December… and the holiday season is upon us, with Hanukkah (12/7 - 12/15), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (12/26 - 1/1) and New Year’s Eve (12/31), plus some other holidays listed here! There’s a great mix of traditional and new events happening across the Lowcountry to help us celebrate, including holiday craft workshops, markets, parades, performances, tree lightings and visits with Santa. Some exciting events to note include Park Circle Santacon (12/9), Charleston Holiday Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor (12/9), Chanukah in the Square (12/10) and Skate the Stadium (12/1-12/30*). We’ve listed many weekly and individual events below for you to enjoy yoursel...

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Charleston in the News - November 2023 Edition

Tue, Oct 31st 2023 8:10 am by Alan Donald Charleston

November 2023 News

Charleston SC Battery Seawall

After Closing N. Charleston Paper Mill, WestRock Co. to Be Sold for $11 Billion
WestRock Co. has agreed to be sold to Dublin-based Smurfit Kappa in an $11 billion deal, creating a global packaging giant. When combined, the two companies will become the second-largest packaging company globally, and will be known as Smurfit WestRock. The deal follows WestRock's recent closure of its North Charleston paper mill due to high operating costs and capital investment needs. This transaction “is expected to be finalized by mid-2024”. Read more here and here

New 23-Acre State Park on James Island to be Completed 2024
A new 23-acre state park is being developed on the northe...

What's Happening in Charleston - November 2023 (Events)

Mon, Oct 30th 2023 2:45 pm by Alan Donald Events


BBQ Ribs

It’s November and we are starting to enjoy the cooler temps and prepare for the holiday season! This month, there are plenty of fun festivals and events to check out, including the continuation of the Coastal Carolina Fair (1st-5th), the 2nd Annual AfroSouth Film Festival, (2nd-5th), the 52nd Annual Charleston Scottish Games (4th), as well as the Holy Smokes BBQ Festival (11th) and the return of Charleston's Spiegeltent (18th-12/23). As the days grow shorter, the annual Holiday Festival of Lights (10th-12/31) at James Island County Park kicks off, turning the park into a sparkling wonderland of lights and holiday cheer. And for those looking to burn some calories b...

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How to Get Rid of Your Golden Handcuffs

Sat, Oct 7th 2023 12:05 am by Alan Donald Real Estate

Golden Handcuffs

The "golden handcuffs" around the wrists of US homeowners just got a little tighter.

According to Mortgage News Daily, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate that was already at 7.5% last week, this week increased to 7.81%, the highest rate in 23 years!

Also, according to @NewsLambert, 91% of US mortgage borrowers currently have a mortgage rate below 5.0%.

This helps explain the low inventory or re-sale homes (homeowners understandably have little incentive or desire to swap a home at a very low mortgage rate for a home at a much higher rate).

It also helps explain the reduction in the number of total sales, as buyers got priced out of the neighborhoods they wanted to buy in.

On t...

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