Why Are There So Few Houses for Sale?

Homebuyer demand is near an all-time high, but why are there so few houses for sale?

The answer could be that we are in the “homebody era”.

What is the “Homebody Era”?

Homeowners are reluctant to sell, preferring to live in their current home rather than looking to either “step-up” or “downsize”.  This means that there are fewer homes for sale and could result in a housing shortage for years to come. Historically, the average American lived in their home for an average of five years.  In 2008 & 2009, during the height of the mortgage crisis, that number had increased to an average of seven years.  By May of this year, that number had increased to 11.3 years!

Why Aren’t Homeowners Selling?

Two powerful forces are likely to crimp housing supply in the years ahead, according to a recent article in Business Wire. The first is the reluctance of many homeowners to trade historically cheap mortgages for pricier ones when they move. And the second is the tendency for more seniors to age in place.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates still remain highly affordable, and even showed a recent dip. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.07 for May, down from 4.59 a year earlier.  But that’s still higher than lows seen during the housing slump and recovery. The average annual rate hit a trough of 3.65 in 2016, barely beating a previous record of 3.66 set in 2012. This suggests homeowners will feel even more pressure to hang onto their homes in the years ahead, rather than sell and buy a new one using a mortgage with higher rates.

I’m Just Going to Stay Here

The growing tendency of seniors to choose to age in place is a second force that is likely to curtail inventory in the years ahead.  Improvements in health care and technology have made aging in place easier which means fewer homes on the market.

What Can Be Done?

Many industry experts are calling for more home construction and changes to zoning laws to allow more homes to be built and allow for multi-family homes to be constructed.  This has prompted concerns that builders will focus more on luxury or higher-priced communities rather than on affordable housing options. This is already the case in the Triangle.  Many builders are constructing “zero lot line” communities with larger homes on smaller lots.  In downtown Raleigh and Durham, there has been an explosion of high-end condo projects.

 

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

Phone 919.589.3576 | Email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

Business Wire, June 20, 2019.

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.

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.

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.

Real Estate Market Update – December 2018

 

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.

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

Happy New Year!  With the New Year, it is time to dust off the old year and make plans for the coming year.  Maybe you want to exercise more, read more or spend more time with friends and family?

If selling a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, here are some quick tips:  

Resolutions for Home Sellers

Thinking about selling your home this year or in the future?  Regardless of the season or market conditions, remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression.  Make your home memorable to potential buyers.  Before listing your home, commit to these quick Home Seller New Year’s Resolutions to help ensure the quickest sale for the highest price.

Home Seller Resolution #1:  Plan Ahead

Do you truly want to sell your home? This is not the time to “see what happens” or “I’ll list it to see if it sells.” This wastes your time and the time of potential buyers and agents.  The 2019 housing market here in the Triangle is likely to become harder for home sellers.  Buyer demand has slowed and there is lots of competition, especially from new home communities.

Once you commit to selling your home, go all the way.  Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression and most home buyers decide whether or not to schedule a showing in the first 10 seconds while viewing pictures online!

Selling your home is a BIG deal and it takes lots of planning.  You need a team of experts including; real estate agent, contractors to assist with possible home repairs, movers, etc.  This is especially true if you are planning to buy a home at the same time.

Resolution:  Plan Ahead!  Contact a real estate professional early on to discuss your options and to commit to selling your home!

Planning Ahead is Key

Home Seller Resolution #2:  Repair & Replace

Stained carpet in the bonus room?  Leaky faucet in the kid’s bathroom?  Wallpaper in the living room?

Today’s buyers are, for the most part, looking for move-in ready homes. They do not want to dedicate all of their free time and funds to work on the house they live in.  All of those deferred maintenance projects should be addressed.  They will come up on the buyers home inspection.

Also, if your house is still living in the 1980s, it might be time for an upgrade.  There are many simple fixes; e.g. updated paint, lighting, and fixtures that will make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Resolution:  Repair any deferred maintenance items and bring you home into 2019.

Home Buyers Want Move In Ready

Home Seller Resolution #3:  Cut the Clutter

Boxes piled high in the garage?  Can’t see the floor in the bonus room?  Afraid to open the hall closet door?

A cluttered house can suggest a lack of space, which can impact offers.  Potential buyers want to envision their furniture in your home.  Depending on lifestyle and length of time in the home, cleaning out the clutter can be a BIG project.

Take it step by step, room by room!  Be honest about what you need, want and what you can live without.  The bonus?  You won’t have to pack, move and clutter your new home with stuff you don’t want.

Lastly, when it’s time to list your home, stage it to show in the best possible light.  Your real estate agent may offer home staging as part of their suite of services to take your home to the next level.

Resolution:  Get rid of unwanted items in closets, the garage, and other rooms.

Home Staging is Key

Wrapping Up

Whether you are thinking about buying a home, selling a home or both in 2019, now is the time to commit to your resolutions.  By starting now, 2019 may be the year that you find your self in a new home!

If buying or selling a home is a goal for you next year, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Whatever your plans are for 2019, we hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

 

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 email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

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

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

A new year brings much excitement and anticipation, but could 2019 be the year for a new home?  Here are some quick New Year’s Resolutions to help you buy a home in 2019.

Resolution #1:  Boost Your Savings

Instead of just thinking about saving, why not start the new year off right with a resolution to jump-start your savings and start putting away more for your down payment on your first home?

If you’re worried that the traditional 20% down payment may be too difficult to save in a year, there may be additional mortgage options that don’t require that amount.

Resolution:  Ditch the daily Starbucks run and boost your savings!

Resolution #2:  Check Your Credit

Have you checked your credit report? If not, you should do that right away. Many credit reports contain errors and you will need time to have those mistakes removed.

Your credit score is a very important variable that lenders consider when deciding on your mortgage loan. To make sure you get the best possible rates, it is never too early to start improving your credit!

Resolution:  Check your credit score!

Resolution #3:  Pay Down Your Debt

Your debt-to-income ratio is an important factor for lenders. To help you achieve a favorable rate, focus on paying down your existing debt as much as possible. This new year commit to paying more toward credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, and other debt streams. With fewer dollars owed, you will be in a better position to afford a mortgage once you buy a home!

Resolution:  Brown bag your lunch and put the savings toward your debt.

Resolution #4:  Start Building Your Home Purchase Team

Buying a home on your own is no easy task, which is why most home buyers opt to utilize the talents of many professionals along the way. The new year is the perfect time to start thinking about building the home buying dream team that can help you find your home and pay for it too!

Your team should include an experienced real estate agent that can guide you through the process and a licensed loan officer that can assist you with all of the intricacies of the mortgage process.  Your real estate agent can also assist you with home inspectors, general contractors and a real estate attorney that can assist with repair negotiations and with your home closing.

Resolution:  Commit to finding an experienced real estate agent and lender that can guide you to finding your new home!

Wrapping Up

If you are planning to buy a home in 2019, now is the time to commit to your home purchase!  With a few simple resolutions, you could be living in your dream home this year!

We hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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 email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

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

Fall at the Pond

Fall is coming to a close & winter is just around the corner. We have had such a great fall season helping our clients and enjoying time with family and friends. We are looking forward to a great holiday season and 2019!

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. A 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 email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

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