Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.®

Housing Inventories are Decreasing

Tue, Mar 1st 2011 2:30 pm by Making Offers

We all want to buy low and sell high.  Yet how do you know when to buy and when to sell?  This week I had a customer fly in from the west coast.  She had been watching our prices and inventory and had also been watching a certain neighborhood. She had been to the websites daily. She had decided that now was the time to buy.  She would be starting her new job June 1st and this would give her time to settle in before she had to go back to work.

When she arrived she had a file of 25 properties she wanted to see before she made her final decision. These were printouts from different websites and it took about a hour for us to wade through the data.  Much to her amazement 15 of the properties...




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Brasstown Gathering Place

Fri, Feb 18th 2011 1:30 pm by Things to Do In Oconee

Brasstown Gathering Place, Bar-B-Que

Last weekend we had a call from our friend Dwight Malphrus.  He had been up at his log cabin at Bear Track for a week, working on plumbing and getting the place ready for spring. He had fixed all broken pipes.  He had done some cleaning up around the place.  Put up the bird feeders and filled them. He could feel spring in the air. After a week of this, he was tired of being alone.  Dwight is a people person and there was too much quiet at Bear Track.

So he called Henry and Gwen, pick a place to eat and let's go.  He picked us up and we started over the mountain from Walhalla to Brasstown.  I had been hearing about the restaurant there...great food, wonderful service, great food.  Every...




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New Madison Road, Westminster SC

Fri, Feb 18th 2011 11:30 am by Property Listings

149 New Madison Road is 65 acres with 2 established home sites.  This property is the top of a ridge over looking Lake Hartwell with mountain views in 3 directions.  The current main home is a 3 bedroom 2 bath mobile home at the street, this is included in the package.  The 2nd home is a garage apartment with 1 bedroom, 1 bath over a 2 car garage.  Our seller has had hip replacement and needs to move to a one level home.  His dream was to build a larger home beside the apartment and then use it as a guest cottage.

149 New Madison Road

The property can be the start of your dreams, live in the guest house or in the double wide.  Build your dream house over time.  The setting is very private, the guest house ...




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Did You Notice

Tue, Feb 15th 2011 12:15 am by Interest Rates

Did you notice the interest rate change?  November 20th the rates were 4.17%.  February 7th 2011 the rates were 5.05%.  Did not see the report on Fox, CNN or any of my local stations, but the rates have started to creep up.

Don't really think it is alot?  Look at what a difference it makes.  If you were looking at a mortgage for $170,000 in November the principal and interest payment would have been $828.36.  Today if you are approved for the same loan of $170,000 the payment would be $917.80.  That is a difference of $89.44 per month. $32,198 over the life of the loan.

What are you waiting for?  House prices have increased for the past 3 quarters and now interest rates are increasing. ...




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Happy Valentine's Day

Mon, Feb 14th 2011 10:30 am by Holiday

Happy Valentine's Day!!

We love all our customers and invite you to come by when you are in the area.  We have foreclosure lists on the counter, new maps and area information and we would love to visit with you if you have time.

Our customers are what have made us into what we are today!!!



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Bring a Warm Coat, Your Gloves and a Scarf, we are Going House Hunting

Sat, Jan 29th 2011 10:00 am by Foreclosures and Bank Owned Properties

Bundle up, if you are going to look at foreclosures in January.  The heat is not on so the temps inside the house will not be much better than those outside the house. Bring a heavy coat, gloves and a scarf.  You want to be comfortable while you look.  You can take them back off when you get in my warm car. Bring a flash light if we are going to basement homes as stair wells and basements are very, very dark. 

I would like to be able to tell you things would be different, but we all know the banks are not going to spend money monthly, even if it means they would make a quicker sale for more money.  This is the foreclosure game, you have to suffer to buy.

Bank Owned Property-West Union, SC

I previewed a bank foreclosure...




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Are Foreclosures a Real Value

Wed, Jan 26th 2011 8:00 am by Foreclosures and Bank Owned Properties

543 Foreclosed properties were on the MLS site yesterday.  These are the properties listed with agents to be sold.  This does not include the properties banks own that have not been put out on the open market.  I have been reviewing some of these properties this week and have noticed a few things that you will need to keep in mind if you are thinking of purchasing a foreclosed property.

  1. Is the house really finished or finished up to a point?  Does it have all the trim work, appliances, mirrors, closet features?  If not what is the cost of doing all this extra work before you can move in?
  2. Do the doors and windows shut?  I have been in several homes where the doors were propped against ...



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Interest Rates Determine What You Can Buy

Thu, Jan 13th 2011 1:15 pm by Interest Rates

Each time you hear the news that the interest rates are climbing you should think about why you are waiting.  A point it really doesn't matter, right????

Yes it matters.  The new lending rules have gotten stricter on the ratios you can have for debt to income, 38% Max.  When you factor in taxes and insurance sometimes a point can be the difference between you getting the property you want or having to settle for your second choice.

On at purchase price of $100,000 at 4.875% (todays rate) your payment would be $529.21 before taxes and insurance are added.  If the rates were 5.875% your payment would be $591.54.  This is based on a 30 year fixed conventional rate.  If your credit score is...




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First Snow 2011

Thu, Jan 13th 2011 12:00 pm by Local Events

Snow Jan 10 2011The first snow of 2011 came on January 10th.  Since then we have been off the road and in front of the fireplace watching the flames and enjoying the view through the window.

We usually get 2-3 snows per year of 2-3 inches.  This one is at 7.5 inches so we got a years worth of snow the with the first one.  Enjoy the pictures of the snow and know that we have all 4 seasons here, so we have some snow and some summer days at 100*.  We also have a spring that last more than 4 days and a fall with beautiful colors for over a month.

Snow Walhalla SC 1-10-11 Snow Jan 2011

For all your real estate needs, winter, summer, fall or spring, call Gwen Fowler-Brown at 864-638-3599.




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Show Up

Tue, Dec 21st 2010 8:45 am by Hiring an Agent

Show up.  Just show up.  Advice I received from a very young age. 

If you want to get ahead of the "just show ups" you need to just show up and do what you are suppose to do:  hand in your homework on time and do it right the first time. In life we usually don't get the "do over."

When you are hiring an agent, you need someone who will show up and do the job.  Many agents feel that all they have to do is show up, put your property out for other agents and a sign in the yard and their job is done.

During this recession, you have to show up, be available and be thinking beyond what the local pack is doing to get property sold.  You have to read what is happening to other agents and what ...




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Oconee Public Library Book Sale

Tue, Dec 7th 2010 4:15 pm by Local Events

2nd Thursday of each month is the books sale for the Oconee Public Library in Walhalla.  The library takes donations all month long and then on the 2nd Thursday, they sell anything that is not needed for their circulation.

You can find best sellers, old books, how to books, travel books and maps, childrens books as well as home school books and magazines.  The library sale hours are from 9AM to 5PM.  The books are very reasonalby priced.  Donations of books or purchase from these sales goes back to the library fund to help buy more books and equipment for the system.

Our library system was established in May, 1948.  They have expanded to include a book mobile, 4 branches and extended ho...




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Oconee Christmas Parade Schedule

Sat, Dec 4th 2010 10:00 am by Local Events

Santa arrives in Walhalla tonight.  He will be on the last float in our annual Christmas Parade.  The parade starts at 5pm. Lineup is on South Church Street, and the parade route follows Main Street to the First Baptist Church parking lot on John Street.  You will need to be on the street by 4:30 to get the best seats.  Bands, politicians and fire trucks will also be in the parade.  Come enjoy the downtown at night. 

The Steak House will be offering 10% discount to celebrate Santa's arrival.  Some of the best fried chicken in the south.  Great desserts and wonderful atmosphere with all the Christmas decorations.  Go by for dinner or just for dessert and coffee, you will be glad you did.

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Start A Conversation

Tue, Nov 30th 2010 8:45 am by Making Offers

At this point in time, there are many properties available for sale.  Some are foreclosures or bank owned but most are personal property of sellers.  All these sellers, banks and owners, want offers.  Simple...just throw a number out there, right???  In this market you or your agent must do their homework to get the best buy for the money.

Start with looking at how long the property has been on the market...3 days--the seller would like an offer, but will be less likely to look at a low offer.  3 weeks they are starting to get antsy.  The buyers agent will not know how many offers they have had or if they have had any showings.  3 months--the sellers want action. Between 60 and 90 days w...




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Interest Rates Are Climbing

Mon, Nov 29th 2010 10:15 am by Interest Rates

The elections are over. The interest rates are on the rise.  The week before Thanksgiving the rates went up 1/4 point.  Gas prices have stabilized and I expect to see the interest rates to continue up till the economy recovers. 

Golden Corner, Oconee, SC Walhalla Homes, Walhalla Real Estate, Salem SC Real Estate, If you are waiting to buy because you want the lowest prices, you will need to wait longer.  If you want low prices and a low interest rate, now is the time to buy.  Our inventory is good, rates are better than they were when my parents bought their 1st home in the 60's.

1/4 point on interest rates does not sound like a lot till you start qualifying for a loan.  Call me if you need a list of lenders to contact.  We have local lenders as well as mortgage compani...




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