Housing market boom creeping into the Sandhills, other rural counties: Realtor

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The reach of the housing market boom knows no limits, something Sean and Mandy LaBeef are learning firsthand as they search for a property in Cumberland County.

"'How many houses have y'all tried to go after so far?' Oh my gosh, six or seven," Mandy said.

Staff Sergeant Sean LaBeef and his family are moving to the Fort Bragg area to take on a recruiter role. They've been searching for a home in the Hope Mills area for the last few months to no avail.

"Just keep getting outbid or beat out on the offer we've been putting in," Mandy said.

Edric Williams is a broker and owner of Bold +EXP Realty in the Fayetteville area. The longtime realtor told ABC11 the housing market boom is seeping into the rural counties and areas like the Sandhills.

"No one is safe from growth in the area. If you're in between the Triangle, as far south as basically the border, you know, it's free game," Williams said.

Right now, according to the latest Zillow reports, Wake and Durham County's average house value stands at around $358,000 and $295,000 respectively.

Once you start coming down south, away from those two major hubs, this is what Zillow says is the average cost for a home:

  • Lee County: $156,000
  • Sampson County: $124,000
  • Harnett County: $197,000
  • Hoke County: $168,000
  • Cumberland County: $149,000

"In the last 17 years, I've never seen so many people purchasing houses with cash," Williams said.

Williams said the price of homes in these counties has steadily risen but is still affordable. However, the lack of properties and the shortage of material to build them is what's leading to slim pickings.

The LaBeefs are working closely with Williams to try to find a home before they move to the area in late-June. If they don't find place, they may have to resort to an apartment for the time being.

Realtors recommend those looking to buy a home in this volatile market to have a plan in place, get preapproved to attract potential sellers and be ready to offer cash.

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