The Simple Truths of Real Estate: Part 1

There are certain things in life that are always true. It always rains the day that you forget your umbrella. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Every day. The New England Patriots win the AFC East every year. Sorry New York Jets fans.

Just like in life, there are some things in real estate that are always true; no matter the geography or the market condition. Beginning this week, we will look at a few simple truths of real estate.

It doesn’t matter what the neighbors’ home sold for in the past

Home values are dynamic. They rise and fall with market conditions, just like a company stock on an exchange. What a house was worth five years ago, last month or even last week has no bearing on the value of a house today. This can be a difficult pill to swallow.

If you didn’t sell your home two years ago or even last year when the market was at it’s highest, there is nothing that you can do about it now. Thinking, “I shoulda sold last year” or “I coulda gotten more money for my house” is a waste of energy. As I always say to my kids, “with a woulda, a coulda and a shoulda and a dollar, you still can’t buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

Or more simply put, “you can’t go back in time, so stop worrying about it.”

Home Prices are Dynamic

How to Maximize the Value of Your Home

Even if you didn’t sell when the market was at it’s highest, there are some things that you can do today to maximize the value of your home. Here are some simple steps:

  1. Catch up on any deferred maintenance around the house. Guys, its time to pull out that “honey do” list and get caught up on some of those projects you’ve been delaying around the house.
  2. Make sure the major systems; HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. are in good working order.
  3. Curb appeal counts. Keep things clean and tidy.  Plant some flowers in the front years. Cut back the hedges. Rake up the yard. Remember, you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.
  4. If your house is living in the ’90s, it may be time for an update. Focus on your kitchens & baths: These are the areas of your home that will generate the most return. You can always change a kitchen, but you can’t pick up a property and move it.
  5. Work with an agent that understands your neighborhood to determine the best way to market your home.

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Wednesday Wind Down

Checking out some great places around the Triangle to enjoy a wind down on a Wednesday

If you are looking for some great places to “wind down” midweek, there are lots of great options around the Triangle. From wine to wellness to watching movies, there is something sure to please.

Wine Down @ Peak of the Vine 

We recently stopped by Peak of the Vine at its new location in Historic Downtown Apex. The Peak of the Vine is a unique combination of a wine lounge and wine shop. Enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere of our lounge as you sip on exceptional wines from around the world; or choose your favorite bottles to take home.

On our visit, Kelly enjoyed the daily sangria special while I enjoyed a Chardonnay from Slovakia. Both were great and were a perfect way to enjoy “Wine Down Wednesday.”

The Peak also features live music, karaoke and open mic nights. If you are looking for a great place to meet with friends in Historic Downtown Apex, you should consider a visit to the Peak of the Vine.

Cheers! Wine Down Wednesday at Peak of the Vine

If wine isn’t your thing here are some other great ways to enjoy your Wednesday wind down.

Wind Down Wednesday Concert Series @ Waverly Place 

Get ready to turn up the volume on Wednesdays this summer! The Wind Down Wednesday summer concert series returns to Waverly Place.
The whole family is invited to relax and soak up the summer sun, all while listening to summertime tunes from one of the areas local bands.

Arrive early to take advantage of special offers from select Waverly Place retailers and restaurants. Then head to the Park to enjoy a variety of food and beverage options available for purchase during each performance. The Waverly Place Playground, sponsored by WakeMed, will be open and ready for action for younger visitors.

Concerts start at 6:00 PM & Admission is free. Stop by the Waverly Place website for more information.

Wind Down Wednesday Concert Series @ Waverly Place

Wellness Wednesdays

The lawn on the Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park at North Hills is transformed into an outdoor fitness studio. These events encourage participants to “Get Your Fit On” by promoting whole-body wellness through a wide variety of fitness concepts.  

Sessions run from April to June and begin at 5:30 PM. Visit the North Hills website for more information

Wellness Wednesdays at North Hills

Wednesday Movie Night

On the first Wednesday night of the month, the Halle Cultural Arts Center in downtown Apex hosts a Wednesday Movie Night. The movies include recently released movies geared towards teens and adults.

Contact the Halle Arts Center for a complete list of movies at halleculturalartscenter@apexnc.org.

The Halle Arts Center in Historic Downtown Apex

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Triangle Market Stats Q1 2019

Triangle Market Report Q1 2019

Q1 2019 is in the books but the real estate market in the Triangle NC region is looking like a repeat of 2018. Many of the trends in Q1 mimicked those from the same period last year. 

What increased? Inventory growth, sale prices & days on market, while inventory within the resale market < $300,000 decreased. Historically March is the hottest month of the year in the resale market and this was true in 2019 in the below $300,000 market. 

While new home construction has helped relieve the lack of inventory in other submarkets, due to the cost of land and development costs, there are very few new construction options in the $300,000 and under market across the Triangle. 

Quarter1 also saw a welcome decrease in mortgage rates. Current buyers have a stable mortgage rate environment and this is projected to continue throughout 2019.

New Listing: Spectacular North Raleigh Condo

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream

Checking Out Ice Cream Shops Around the Triangle

Triangle residents know there are many perks to living in this amazing area. The incredible weather is often the first thing mentioned, followed by the proximity to the beach and mountains. In recent years, however, we are gaining notoriety for our food offerings as well! We hope to visit these renowned eating establishments soon but we thought we’d welcome the recent warm weather and focus on frozen treats!

We Love Ice Cream

I grew up in a town with only Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins but the amount of establishments here is unbelievable! There are SO MANY delicious desserts available across the area! Whether you prefer a rich, Italian gelato, frozen custard mixed with candy, or just traditional homemade ice cream, fresh from the farm, we have something for everyone!

Fresh. Local Ice Cream

We stopped by Fresh. Local Ice Cream at it’s the newest location in historic downtown Apex to see if they were worth the hype. They speak the truth when they say “We provide the freshest, most delicious homemade ice cream around!” They get their ingredients fresh every week from local dairy farms, and produce the ice cream right in the store! They also have a food truck available if you’re hosting an event and want to draw a crowd!

They offer traditional flavors as well as some exciting new additions. I tried the carrot cake ice cream which is made with real carrot cake from another local favorite – La Farm Bakery in Cary! It was so good, I even got some to go so I could share with my family! The ice cream was delicious, the service was exceptional and the shop has a fun atmosphere with open windows to watch the shoppers on Salem Street!

Flavors! Flavors! Flavors!

All For the Purpose of Science

For scientific purposes, we did some research and, of course, some taste-testing 😉  and found these are the 10 Most Popular Ice Cream Shops around Raleigh. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order to be as fair as possible.  

Next time you stop at one of these locations- share with us on Instagram @logpondrealty or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LogPondRealty/


And remember- there is ALWAYS room for ice cream!

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Spring Home Checklist

Spring arrives on March 20th and will last for 92 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes…so, what are you waiting for? Let the home projects begin.

~Tori Toth

You may not have noticed but spring has arrived!  The days are definitely getting longer and as I write this article the temperature here in Raleigh is 80 degrees!  If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to plan your spring home projects.   

Many homeowners believe spring maintenance is all about the cleaning. Certainly, a good cleaning of the exterior and interior of the home is a good idea, but maintaining the systems, appliances and home structure is a must!  Here are some spring maintenance checklist items.  

Now is the Time for Spring Home Projects

Outdoor Home Projects

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.   
  • Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If the wood is showing through, and the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If the paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.
  • Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Perform a thorough cleaning. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls. 
  • Inspect driveways and paths.  
  • Air Conditioning. Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. 
  • Check sprinkler and irrigation systems.  
  • Fertilize/Seed Lawn 
  • Mulch Beds 
  • Plant Spring Flowers in Pots (Front Entry/Entertaining Area) 
  • Organize Garage 
  • Clean Patio Furniture 
  • Clean Grill 

Indoor Home Projects 

Here are some ideas to refresh the inside of your home:   

  • Clean Light Fixtures 
  • Touch Up Paint + Baseboards 
  • Wash Windows/Blinds 
  • Wash/Maintain All Appliances 
  • Clean Out Closets (Seasonal Clothes) 
  • Clean Behind & Underneath ALL Furniture 
  • Add Seasonal Décor 
  • Remove Christmas Decorations:  Just noticed that we still have a couple of Christmas decoration scattered around the house!   
Taking Care of Your Home

How to Decide?

It can be difficult to prioritize your home projects.  After all, the list above is pretty extensive and spring is a great time to spend time with the family and check out all of the great things to do around the Triangle area!  Here are a couple suggestions to assist you with your spring home projects.  Start by handling any projects that can cause major damage like a leaky roof, or projects that could affect your safety in the home. Look to upgrade items that can help you save money, like replacing windows. Complete low-cost projects that make an impact, for instance, new paint before tackling the bigger projects.

Home Sweet Home

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Sources

Family Handyman Home Checklist 

Tori Toth Spring Home Goals 

Bob Vila Spring Home Checklist 

Home Advisor Home Checklist   

Wake County Real Estate Update – February 2019

The February real estate numbers are in for Wake County. January and February started off very slowly and most real estate followers feared the coming of a real estate slowdown.

How did we do in February? Find out here!

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Spring has finally Sprung!

The sun is shining! The birds are singing! The flowers are blooming! Get out there and enjoy it! There are so many Spring festivals and events all around the Triangle that we can not list them all. Support your local community and enjoy beautiful arts and crafts and delicious food and drinks at these favorites:

Southern Women’s Show

https://southernshows.com/wra
April 12 – 14 ~ North Carolina State Fairgrounds
Shop, sample and share the fun at the Triangle’s favorite event for women. Discover hundreds of boutiques filled with the latest fashions, trendy jewelry, gourmet treats, health and beauty, and so much more. Enjoy fashion shows, top chefs, and celebrity guests.

Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival

https://www.townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/events/festivals/spring-daze-arts-and-crafts-festival
April 27 ~ Fred G Bond Metro Park
Over 170 North Carolina artists, entertainment on four stages, delicious festival food, and Cary’s annual Earth Day Celebration.

Spring Daze

Brewgaloo

https://shoplocalraleigh.org/brewgaloo/

April 26-27 City Plaza, Downtown Raleigh
North Carolina’s largest craft beer festival, featuring 100 breweries, 50 food trucks and drawing 30,000 people. It was nominated as one of the top 10 beer festivals in America!

Peakfest

https://apexpeakfest.com/
May 4 ~ Historic Downtown Apex
Celebrate the Peak of Good Living with live music all day, artists of every kind (jewelry, pottery, watercolor and acrylic), entertainment for the kids, food that you would find at the fair, and so much more!

But Wait! There is more!

In addition to these annual events, we’re lucky enough to have so many other places to enjoy this beautiful season!

Take a picnic and enjoy the beauty of Sarah P. Duke Gardens https://gardens.duke.edu/

Grab some friends and enjoy an exciting baseball game at the Durham Bulls Park https://www.milb.com/durham/

Get out and explore the numerous parks, greenways, gardens, baseball and soccer fields! Please share your favorites with us at https://www.facebook.com/LogPondRealty/

Duke Cardens

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

What is a Home Inspection?

Congratulations!!  You found the perfect home!!  Is it?  Is there mold?  Could the HVAC be on its last legs?  What about the foundation?  Roof leaks?  

No home is perfect, not even new construction.  To make sure that your new home is NOT a money pit, you need a professional home inspection to verify that the major systems are in good working order.

Over the past couple of months, Kelly and I have had several questions from both buyers and sellers regarding the home inspection process. What is inspected?  If the inspector finds something, what next?  How to negotiate the repair request?  Do we ask the seller to fix it?  Who fixes it?

These are just some of the questions that we are asked and this article will highlight some of the ins and outs of the home inspection process.

What is a Home Inspection?

Home Inspection

Before we talk about how to handle a repair request, let’s first talk about the home inspection.  What is a home inspection?  A home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home; e.g. plumbing, roof, HVAC, and is intended to give the client an understanding of their condition.

Once the home inspection has been completed, the inspector will provide a detailed report of his/her findings.  The report can be a few pages to many pages, depending on the number of items.  As a home buyer, you may be tempted to ask your agent to send the entire report to the home seller with a giant stamp on the front that says.

“Fix Everything!!”

Don’t!!!

My Buyer Wanted Everything Fixed!!!

While it may be tempting to request that everything on the repair report to be fixed, so that your new home can be as perfect as possible when you move in, that’s just not realistic.

We recently listed an older home in an established neighborhood east of Raleigh.  The home was reasonably maintained and updated.  The buyers’ agent provided us with a ten-page, single-spaced list of repair items that his client was requesting! Replace all of the electrical faceplates…yup.  Broken latch to the crawl space…that one was in there, also.  Burnt out lightbulb in the master bath vanity…That one was there too!!!  Many of the items were under $10.00 per item!

Pick Your Battles

Concentrate your request on the major, structural issues, rather than on the cosmetic issues.  Here some examples of items that you should request:

  • Leaking pipes in the basement, crawlspace or in the living area.
  • Damaged or broken roof shingles.
  • Major electrical defects that cause safety issues.
  • Significant plumbing problems that interfere with the use of the home.
  • Leaking water from the roof.
  • Water penetration in the crawl space or basement
  • Mold problems
  • Elevated Radon levels above EPA suggested levels.
  • Pest infestations
  • Septic issues
  • etc

The above items are a condensed list of possible issues worth asking a seller to address. There certainly could be others but these are without question reasonable repair requests that any buyer would have. Depending on the mortgage loan program; e.g. FHA, VA, etc. your mortgage lender may require that certain repairs be completed for your loan request to be approved.

Credit or Seller Repair

This is an important consideration when requesting repairs.  Depending on a number of factors; e.g. extent of repair, timing needed to make the repair, etc. you may request that the seller complete the repair prior to closing and/or you may request a credit from the seller for the repair.

Since the seller has no vested interest in the home once it is sold, they may not hire the most qualified contractor, or the contractor may not complete in the most workmanlike manner.  By requesting a credit, you have the ability to select your preferred contractor and to confirm that the work is completed satisfactorily.  Before asking for a cash credit, your agent should check with your lender to determine if a cash credit is allowed and the amount that is allowed.

How About a Home Warranty?

Offering a home warranty may be acceptable to both parties in a situation where a system; e.g. HVAC, appliances, etc. may require repair or replacement in the future.  Home warranties cover major defects for a year and provide a buyer with peace of mind. One caution, a home warranty will not cover a system that is broken prior to closing.

Closing Tips

I often tell my buyers and my sellers that negotiating repairs is the 2nd round of negotiation in the home selling process.  The first, obviously, is the negotiation of the initial offer.  The home inspection should be a give and take between the buyer and seller. It should have a reasonable conclusion where both parties are satisfied with the results.

If you are purchasing a home in a seller’s market, it is even more important to be reasonable in requesting repairs to the seller.  As a buyer, you could find yourself on the outside looking in if you anger the seller to the point, they want to have

Purchasing a New Home

nothing to do with you.  Our seller that received the ten-page, single-spaced repair request went ballistic!!  We did close, but the entire tone of the transaction changed from then on.

When working with sellers we often explain to them that a test to determine if a repair request is reasonable is whether or not another buyer coming along would have the same inspection concerns. If the answer is YES then the owner should fix what the buyer is requesting.

Sellers will often ask should I get a pre-listing home inspection? If you have an older home and know you have some defects needing attention, it might be worth the money! Anytime you can prevent a home inspection from causing your sale to go down the tubes is a good thing.

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

SOURCES

https://www.thebalance.com/repair-requests-on-home-buying-and-selling-1798680

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-repair-requests-home-buyers/

https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/home-inspection-repair-requests/

https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/negotiate-issues-home-inspection/

Real Estate Market Update – January 2019

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.