Greenville, SC - Why You Should Consider Visiting/Living There

I came across this article on Greenville and thought the author, Clay Pitsenbarger, had a great "take" on this city that I love to call home!

Greenville, SC - Why You Should Consider Visiting & Living There

If you're running out of things to do in Charlotte, then why not consider checking out Greenville, SC, which is only a 2 hour drive away?

If you're living in the Carolinas or nearby Atlanta, then you've probably heard about the fast growing city of Greenville, SC. It's the largest and fastest growing city in the Upstate SC region, which is the fastest growing region in SC.

Depending on the sources you follow, you may've heard about Greenville's buyer-friendly housing market, renowned museums, bike paths and tours, Sterling School (one of the top rated elementary/middle schools in the nation), family friendly living, and mild weather during the spring, fall and winter months.

If all of that sounds great to you, then you may have found your new home. Read on to get a breakdown of all the important parts of visiting and living in Greenville, SC.

The Housing Market

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Greenville falls below the national and state unemployment average of 3.9%.

A city with lower unemployment is a city with more demand for real estate. More demand results in more robust real estate prices.

The real estate data reflects this. Since 2013, the average sales price of homes in Greenville has steadily increased every year. This is in conjunction with the increasing population size. So, now is the time to buy.

Another source confirms this with some raw data. For example, the average home price of $201,051 for houses sold in 2016 rose to $218,257 in 2017.

However, you should still find an agent with experience buying homes in your desired neighborhood and within your budget.

Great Schools In Greenville, SC                                                                                                         There are 62 primary and secondary schools in Greenville.

Sterling is one of Greenville's schools for highly gifted students. It runs two programs, one for elementary and the other a center for the gifted students. There are 746 students there.

The public schools in Greenville are part of the Greenville County School District. The higher scoring Anderson 01 School District is also nearby.  Scoring is based on a comparison of the test results throughout the state.

There are many top rated schools located in Greenville's suburbs of Simpsonville and Mauldin.

Top Elementary Schools

·         Sterling in Greenville

·         Monarch elementary in Simpsonville

·         Oakview in Simpsonville

·         Rudolph Gordon in Simpsonville

Top Middle Schools

·         Mauldin Middle School in Simpsonville

·         Riverside Middle School near Greer

Top High Schools

·         Mauldin High in Mauldin

As for which particular school, I would suggest that you research the other schools as well. You should also talk to the principal when you get the chance so you would get a feel of the school personally.

Greenville, SC Main Attractions

The first place you should visit in Greenville, SC coming from Atlanta or Charlotte is the Falls Park on the Reedy. Just like the name implies, you can find beautiful falls there, surrounded by trails with tour guides and beautiful gardens.

The falls are a great place to start your journey in Greenville, SC. It leads right into Main Street where you can find all kinds of international restaurants. It's also close to the Greenville zoo.

And speaking of food, Greenville SC is an emerging food hub in the south. Main Street has more than 110 restaurants (mostly local owned) in a one and a half mile stretch.

Greenville, SC has entertainment venues for everyone to enjoy. If you enjoy music, you can go to a concert at the Peace Center. If you're a sports fan, you can watch sporting events at the Flour Field at the West End.

In summary, Greenville, SC is one of the best economically growing Southern cities in the US for food lovers, families, and nature lovers who are looking for good home buying opportunities.

For more things to do in Greenville, you should check this comprehensive list of 101 things to do in Greenville, SC.

Equifax Security Breach - Were you one of the 143 MILLION Americans affected? I was!

I heard about the Equifax Security Breach this morning and immediately logged in to see if I was affected....and unfortunately I am one of the 143 Americans affected by this breach. Equifax is a credit recording company that pulls credit scores, etc. and is used in the mortgage and home buyer process - the odds are high that some of your personal information may have been stolen through the breach including possibly your address, Social Security number, driver’s license and credit card numbers. Check out the below for facts about the Equifax Security Breach and how to check to see if you are safe or if you need to take proactive measures to securing your information! Thank you to Amanda McCall & Beth Davis with Prime Lending (2 of my favorite lenders for providing this awesome set of info on what to do once you know your information was stolen!)

Facts about the Equifax Security Breach

Equifax Inc. recently announced a cybersecurity incident potentially affecting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to files containing private information about consumers. Based on the Equifax’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

To check if your information was compromised: Equifax has established this website, where you can check whether your information was compromised. If Equifax indicates that your information was affected, here are some tips for responding:

Credit Cards

  • Contact all of your credit card companies and request new cards. While it may be difficult to update all of your automatic payment information for billing accounts linked to your current cards, getting new cards will help reduce the chance for fraud on your accounts.
  • Be vigilant in reviewing your credit card bills and immediately report any unauthorized charges to your card issuer.

Credit Bureaus

  • Contact all credit bureaus to place an extended fraud alert or a credit freeze your credit file.
    • A freeze stops all access to your credit report which in turn makes it difficult for thieves to open up new credit in your name; but it may also prevent you from getting new loans that you have applied for, so use this tool with care.
    • A fraud alert permits creditors to get your report as long as they take steps to verify your identity.
    • The credit bureau may charge a fee for these services - See this Federal Trade Commission website for more information: 

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0279-extended-fraud-alerts-and-credit-freezes

  • Pay attention to how long the freeze or fraud alert will apply. In this case, you may have to renew the fraud alert on a scheduled basis. The above website says it will stay in effect for seven years for an extended alert whereas initial alerts are only effective for 90 days. 

·         Equifax

o   800-525-6285

www.alerts.equifax.com

o   Click at the top of the for the Extended fraud alert.

o   Print the form and fax or mail as per the form.

o   You can also request an initial 90 day Fraud Alert. 

·         TransUnion

o   800-680-7289

https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert

o   Click Place Extended Fraud Alerts

o   Print Form and mail.

o   You can also request an initial 90 day Fraud Alert. 

·         Experian

o   888-397-3742

https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html

o   Click Add a Fraud Alert

o   Click 7 Years

o   Print form and upload to Experian.com/upload or mail.

o   It states to mail with payment, if applicable but does not state the amount required.

o   You can also request an initial 90 day Fraud Alert.

Some sites are very busy right now and you may have to try later. 

IRS Fraud Alert

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft

·         Data breach victims should submit a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, only if your Social Security number has been compromised and either your e-File return was rejected as a duplicate or IRS has informed you that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft.

·         Be alert for scam phone calls from thieves posing as the IRS; you can find information about IRS collection calls here:

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls | Internal Revenue Service

Press Release: Maggie Aiken was named to the 2017 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents in Greenville

Greenville, SC, July 2017- Maggie Aiken of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services C. Dan Joyner Realtors was named one of America’s most productive sales associates as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Zillow Group.   She is now a member of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents,” and ranked number 5 for the state of South Carolina.

 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents ranks over 12,600 residential real estate professionals solely based on their excellence in real estate sales during calendar year 2016. All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party in order to ensure accuracy and report integrity. “This group of highly successful real estate sales agents represents less than 1 percent of all real estate practitioners in the United States,” says Steve Murray, publisher of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents and president of REAL Trends.

To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in sales volume in 2016. For real estate agent teams, the minimum is 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume. The individuals ranked in America’s Best Real Estate Agents had an average of 73 transaction sides and an average sales volume of almost $37 million. Teams ranked in America’s Best Real Estate Agents had an average of 144 sides and an average sales volume of almost $61 million. This ensures that only the best of the best are included on the prestigious list.

“The average residential real estate agent in the United States closed 8.6 transactions in 2016 and had less than $1.3 million in sales,” said Murray. “To say that Maggie is an exceptional sales professional is an understatement. To attain this level of sales is truly outstanding.”

“We are also pleased that two of the nation’s most prominent online real estate websites, Trulia® and Zillow®, have partnered with REAL Trends to bring a superior level of customer exposure of these sales agents’ performance,” Murray added.

 “I am obviously pleased and honored to be ranked on this ranking of the country’s top residential real estate agents,” said Maggie.  “It represents the time and effort that we put into each customer that we serve and how much work it takes to build a successful real estate career. The level of sales it takes to qualify makes it a truly special recognition.”

Information on those receiving this recognition can be found online at http://www.americasbestre.com

ABOUT REAL TRENDS

REAL Trends is a privately-held, Colorado-based publishing, consulting and communications company specializing in the residential brokerage and housing industries. Recognized as the leading source of trends in the industry, REAL Trends, The Trusted Source, also publishes the REAL Trends The Thousand, as advertised in The Wall Street Journal and the REAL Trends 500, which ranks the top brokerage firms in the United States. Visit REAL Trends at www.realtrends.com.

Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, LLC. These marks are used with permission

US Cities where it is Cheaper to Buy than to Rent!

I came across this article today and Greenville tops the list at #3! Interest rates are still low (low 4's) and this market is hot hot hot! Rental prices continue to increase, and now is the time to get off of the fence and buy! Reach out to me today to discuss getting pre-approved and hitting the ground running! Full article link here.

Beautiful Downtown Greenville is one of my favorite spots!

Beautiful Downtown Greenville is one of my favorite spots!

Almost everywhere in the U.S., it's cheaper to rent a home than to buy.

But in select cities, homeowners come out ahead, thanks to a low cost of living and favorable housing market.

To find the places where owning is cheaper than renting, financial services site SmartAsset gathered data on the average rent and home prices in the 100 largest metro areas in the US. The data, which SmartAsset shared with CNBC, compares the total costs of buying and renting a typical home in each metro area for a household earning $100,000 a year.

For the "buy" scenario, SmartAsset made the following assumptions: a 4.5 percent mortgage rate, closing costs of $2,000, and a 20 percent down payment.

The cities that made the cut can be found exclusively in the South and Midwest, which is unsurprising considering that those regions typically rank among the least expensive places to live in the country.

Read on to see the top 10 cities where it's cheaper to buy than rent.

10. Omaha, Nebraska

Average monthly mortgage payment: $583
Average monthly rent: $1,255
Average home price: $250,822
Years needed to break even: 1.63

9. New Orleans

Average monthly mortgage payment: $648
Average monthly rent: $1,276
Average home price: $235,127
Years needed to break even: 1.59

8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Average monthly mortgage payment: $561
Average monthly rent: $1.127
Average home price: $216,308
Years needed to break even: 1.58

7. Cincinnati

Average monthly mortgage payment: $544
Average monthly rent: $1,167
Average home price: $220,633
Years needed to break even: 1.49

6. Columbia, South Carolina

Average monthly mortgage payment: $460
Average monthly rent: $1,202
Average home price: $189,787
Years needed to break even: 1.47

5. Gary, Indiana

Average monthly mortgage payment: $558
Average monthly rent: $1,136
Average home price: $205,163
Years needed to break even: 1.34

4. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Average monthly mortgage payment: $449
Average monthly rent: $1,093
Average home price: $174,697
Years needed to break even: 1.34

***3. Greenville, South Carolina*** Woohoo!

Average monthly mortgage payment: $485
Average monthly rent: $1,008
Average home price: $175,235
Years needed to break even: 1.33

2. Louisville, Kentucky

Average monthly mortgage payment: $575
Average monthly rent: $1,126
Average home price: $225,826
Years needed to break even: 1.29

1. Little Rock, Arkansas

Average monthly mortgage payment: $496
Average monthly rent: $1,146
Average home price: $196,120
Years needed to break even: 1.26