Free Home Value Report Search For Homes

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Look at Buying Now vs. Buying Then; Why You Can’t Afford to Wait

Watch on your mobile device >>

It is widely known around the world that real estate in the US is at the best point it has been in decades – especially from the standpoint of a buyer.  But when you look at how the numbers work out – it REALLY looks good and it is a great way to see just why buying now is the best it has been for the past five to ten years. 

Here are the facts.  We know that interest rates are so low that buyers are walking away with practically free mortgages.  We know that housing values have declined to a point that buying a home now is a surefire investment that will come back later and mature very nicely once the market bounces back.  We know that housing inventory is largely overstuffed because of the plethora of foreclosures on record the past few years plus other factors contributing to the fact as well.  But how does all this look when you plug in actual selling prices, interest rates, down payments and monthly payments? 

To help show you why buying now will yield the best ever deal quite possibly in your entire lifetime, we have put together a comparison of a home that was sold in 2002.  Considering the market environment in both 2006 and 2011, we see how the owners got very different results on each respective selling date.  The numbers are staggering! 

Home Bought in 2002
Price of home when originally bought in 2002: $285,000
Interest rate: 6.5%
Conventional loan 20% down payment amount: $57,000
Monthly payment: $1,441 (principal and interest)
Loan payout for the life of the loan: $575,803

Sold to Another Owner in 2006
Selling price: $580,000
Interest rate: 6.5%
Significant remodeling changes made to the home
Conventional loan 20% down payment amount: $116,000
Monthly payment: $2,932 (principal and interest)
Loan payout for the life of the loan: $1, 171,800

Sold Again in 2011
Selling price: $245,000
Interest rate: 5%
Conventional loan 20% down payment amount: $49,000
Monthly payment: $1, 052 (principal and interest)
Loan payout for the life of the loan: $427,782

The savings are astronomical when comparing market conditions then to now.
If you bought this house ten years ago, the savings add up to over $148,000!
And if you bought the house while it was at the top of the market, the savings are an unbelievable $750,000.  That’s three quarters of a million dollars in savings alone.

This is the same home.  When you realize how much the prices, payments and payouts fluctuate – it makes you wonder why you haven’t gone out and grabbed the opportunity to buy now, doesn’t it? Either way you look at it, buying now will end up in a fantastic return on your investment.  What’s more is that there is no telling how long this phase in our real estate industry will last.  We are starting to see some upward changes in the housing market, with prices coming back up very slowly and the depreciation cycle beginning to level off.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

6 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Market

Watch on your mobile device >>

There are many things you can do to make sure that your home is prepared and in its most appealing state to buyers before you put it on the market.  Here are six of the most important things you as a seller can do to insure that when a potential buyer comes to your property, they feel at home.

Make a Great First Impression 

Home buyers decide whether they are interested in buying a home within the first 8 seconds of visiting the property, so making a great first impression is crucial.  In order to make that awesome first impression, you need to make sure the outside of your house is well manicured.  This includes mowing the grass, trimming bushes and shrubs, and mulching all beds.  By maintaining the exterior of your property, you help the buyer see that this home has been well cared for over the years.

Prep the Entry of Your Home

After you make a great first impression and set the bar high, it is now critical to continue to meet the buyer’s expectations.   This means that you must make sure your entry is in prime shape.  The steps and door must be cleaned and all mold work should be freshly painted.  You need to not only make sure that any buyers feel welcome coming into your home, but that they feel like all of their family and friends would be welcome in that home in the future.

Appeal to the Senses

By having music playing or a pleasant scent filling your home, you are able to give away positive vibes right when a potential buyer opens the door.  You want to make sure that the buyer feels as if they just opened the door to their new home.

Get Help in Staging Your Home

Many real estate services offer a professional staging consultant for free as part of their service.  Having someone else come through your home will not only help you eliminate any clutter and personal items, but will also show that every room in the house has a purpose.

Have Your Home Pre-Inspected

Repairs and repair negotiations are the number one deal killer when it comes to real estate transactions.  By having your home pre-inspected and any repairs fixed prior to putting your home on market, you eliminate any thought in the buyers mind that the home may have any maintenance issues.  You are going to save money in the long run by fixing any repairs before putting the house on market by getting a higher price when you sell your home.

Have a Pricing Strategy 

Discuss with your real estate expert all potential scenarios when it comes to selling your home. If you have an awesome pricing strategy, you will be prepared for all outcomes before you start the process of selling your home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mid-August Market Status Update for Mecklenburg, Union Counties

Watch on your mobile device >>

Now that we have crossed into the second half of the year, we are watching as the numbers play out and indicate what we can expect to see happening in our marketplace over the next several months. Though these figures do reflect how things are currently and how they have been in the past 6 months, with our upcoming Presidential election all indicators usually point to a market that is stronger than usual for this time of year. Here is a snapshot of how both the Mecklenburg and Union Counties are performing in today’s real estate market.

Mecklenburg County     Click Here for Complete Report >>
We are currently seeing a significant number of available properties on the market at 4,426 overall and 1,456 listings in the $100,000-$200,000 price range. The average list price for all properties is reported at $357,669.

The previous six months have shown a total of 5,033 closed contracts with an average sold price of $246,179 – with the highest number of sales taking place within the $100,000-$200,000 price range. On the other hand, 3,072 properties are still on the market and have failed to sell in the last six months. This usually occurs for a few reasons such as too high prices, properties that are showing in less than perfect condition or lack of strong marketing techniques. The highest number of off-market listings at 971 properties once again comes under the $100,000-$200,000 price bracket.

Higher number of Days On Market indicates a buyers’ market and we have seen little change in the Mecklenburg County market in this regard over the past few months. The current average DOM is 119 days. The average DOM over the last 6 months is 103 days with an average sold price of $246,179 in that same time frame. Properties in the $1.2M-$1.3M price range continue to sell the fastest during the past six months. Looking at the last 30 days the average sold price was $261,417 with a DOM average of 104 days.

Our absorption rate has moved down to 5.3 months based on the previous six months numbers. With the rate as it is today, it indicates a fairly balanced market however one that has shifted to the sellers’ side.

Similar to Mecklenburg County, in Union County we are reporting a reasonably large number of properties available at 1,436 listings on the market with 251 available properties in the $150,000-$200,000 price range. Looking at all the properties in this market, the average listing price is currently at $326,267.

In the last six months we have reported 1,304 closed contracts with an average price of $264,675 – and the highest number of sold listings remain in the $100,000-$150,000 price bracket. On the other hand, 937 unsold listings remain on the market during the previous six months due to inadequate marketing, less than ideal pricing strategies and imperfect property condition. The highest number of off-market listings at 177 properties are in the $150,000-$200,000 price range.

The average number of Days On Market for property listings in Union County is largely unchanged at 137 days. The average DOM for the last six months is 107 days. We are reporting an average sold price in the last six months at $246,675 and the fastest selling properties selling are in the $50,000-$100,000 price range – a dramatic shift from previous months’ reporting.

The average sold price during the last 30 days in Union County is $300,738 with an average DOM of 101 days.

Finally coming to an almost completely level market in terms of supply and demand, we are at 6.6 months of inventory in Union County as per the last 6 month’s sold properties. This would indicate a balanced market assuming it would take this much time to sell all existing property listings on the market assuming conditions remain the same.
If you would like a customized market report geared toward your specific area – or seek assistance in any other real estate related matter, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you and serving your needs!

To download the reports click here and it will download automatically. >>

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Watch on your mobile device >>

Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and persistence.

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

"We told them so."

"Crazy men and their crazy dreams."

"It`s foolish to chase wild visions."

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. 
He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife's arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Buyer Trends Shaping the Market

Watch on your mobile device >>

Compared to just a couple decades ago the amount of interest buyers (and sellers) take in the real estate process has blossomed into a multi-million dollar industry.   With media, retail and of course technological trends continuously shaping the industry, it is no surprise that buyers (and sellers) are more savvy than ever when it comes to property-related transactions.  So when the time arrives for buyers to begin searching for their new home, they are already armed with loads of advance information about what’s out there.  Here are six top current trends that buyers are into these days, some which have been around for ages and others, seemingly new.

Updated Kitchens and Bathrooms
One of the first things many buyers look for is updated kitchens and bathrooms with plenty of space, modern cabinetry, lots of storage, granite counters and stainless steel or modern appliances.  Savvy buyers of today not only want to be able to enjoy these amenities, they also know that later on down the line these features will add significant seller value to their home, making the purchase a solid investment.

Open Floor Plans
Closed off rooms that are scattered throughout the house are no longer in style.  The more sought after choice is homes that feature large great rooms, with open spaces looking out into multiple rooms that have a clear view from one end of the space to the other. Huge vaulted ceilings, tray ceilings and other architectural details that add to the openness of the space are also important to buyers these days.

Larger Master Bedrooms with an En Suite
With the influx of HGTV shows depicting the latest available designs and styles out there, more and more buyers are seeking master bedrooms with an En suite rather than traditional community bathrooms just a few feet away from the master.  Not only that, buyers want large open spaces within the attached bath, sometimes going as far as expecting double vanity sinks, garden tub and shower stalls plus plenty of storage room.

Use of Extra Space – Outdoors, Basement
Less is not more when it comes to space in a home and no buyer these days wants to see a potential home with underutilized space.  One of the most promising uses of extra space is the basement, where finished basements are the hot trend to fulfill anything from work out room requirements to desires for a media room, a “man cave” or extra family space.  Similarly, future homeowners are seeking more outdoor living space as well.  Whether through enclosed patios, larger yards, fenced in and private play areas or decks; exterior space is an important consideration for almost everyone these days.