The Simple Truths of Real Estate: Part 3

This is the last of our three-part series called the Simple Truths of Real Estate. Just like in life, there are some things in real estate that are always true; no matter the geography or the market condition. To recap…

Truth#1:  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.

Keys to Your Home

Truth #2:  A home is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it. 

What matters is what a buyer thinks it’s worth — and what a buyer will offer on a property.  Also, if the buyer requires financing, whether a lender will approve a loan at that amount.

House Values

Truth #3:  Home improvements will not make a home value increase in an amount equal to or greater than what was paid for the improvements.

A corollary to the third law of real estate is that money spent on maintaining a home adds zero to the home’s value.

The Skinny on Home Improvements

So, you are thinking of investing is a home improvement project and you want to get the best return for the amount invested where should you spend your money?  Think about the kitchen and bathrooms. Kitchen and bath improvements tend to have higher rates of payback than others.  It is rare; however, that the improvement will add equal or more value to a home than what it cost.

Home Improvements

What if My Home Improvement Doesn’t Add Value?

One of the questions that I receive quite often from homeowners is, “Should I do a home improvement if it doesn’t add value.”  No one wants to decrease the value of their home, but owning a home is not just about increasing the value of a home it is about enjoying your home.  My advice, if you are going to use and enjoy your home improvement then you should do it.

Someone Really Likes Airplanes

What About Home Maintenance?

Cleaning the gutters, having the HVAC services twice a year, fixing the roof doesn’t increase the value of your home.  It means that you are a good and conscientious homeowner, but it doesn’t increase the value of your home.

Sure, the fact the water heater, air conditioner, and roof are newish will likely appeal to some buyers. That might well be what triggers their decision to buy your home versus another one, but they don’t make the home intrinsically more valuable.

Does it suck to dump $3,000 into an air conditioning repair on a home you’re not even going to live in? You bet it does. But try selling a home without air conditioning in places it gets over 80 degrees. Good luck selling a home anywhere without a water heater or a roof.

If fundamental repairs are needed, the owner is just going to have to suck it up and make them and not expect to recoup any of that money — or be prepared to discount the list price to compensate.

Time for a New A/C Unit!

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   

The Simple Truths of Real Estate: Part 2

This is the 2nd in our three-part series called the Simple Truths of Real Estate. Just like in life, there are some things in real estate that are always true; no matter the geography or the market condition.

Truth #1:  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.

Truth #2:  A home is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it. 

There are many sources that can provide an estimate of the value of your home:
1) various automated valuation prices from the national real estate sites or
2) have requested a home appraisal from a real estate appraiser or a
3) market assessment from a real estate agent
The truth is that all of these are estimates. If you ask 5 real estate agents for a valuation, chances are you will get 5 different prices. The same is you hire five separate appraisals or go on-line and request a valuation from five separate websites, chances are you are going to receive five separate valuations.

Selling a Home in 2019

 

So What is the Truth?

In short, it doesn’t matter what the homeowners think their home is worth. And it certainly doesn’t matter what the agent or owner wishes the home was worth.

Automated valuations are fun to play with and are reasonable ways to look at pricing trends, but they should never be relied on to price a home (the AVM providers will even tell you this if you’ll listen to them).

What matters is what a buyer thinks it’s worth — and what a buyer will offer on a property.  Also, if the buyer requires financing, whether a lender will approve a loan at that amount.

Making Your House Standout

A Real-World Example

Listed a ranch home in Apex a few years ago in an established neighborhood.  We received multiple offers, one of which being $13,000 above asking, all cash, no inspections, 7-day close.  In this case, we had a buyer that was willing to pay considerably over asking to be in their desired neighborhood and home. 

Wrapping Up

If you are thinking of selling, it is critical that you get multiple valuation estimates.  Shop around.  Meet with multiple agents that have successfully sold a home in your market.  Ask how they determined the valuation and what steps they will follow to market your home to potential buyers. 

Pricing is Key When Trying to Attract Homebuyers

 

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 

August Events Around the Triangle

Triangle residents of all walks of life love the local festivals and events available here year-round! Whether you’re looking to connect with neighbors, try tasty cuisine, hear live music or shop for original artwork, you’re in luck!

Here are a few events coming up in August that you should definitely put on your calendar!

Moore Square Grand Opening Celebration

August 3 ~ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Moore Square Park
226 East Martin Street
Check out live music, a playground for kids, a movie, and more!
Additionally, the house at 226 East Martin will be the Moore Square Visitor’s center.

Welcome to Moore Square

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

August 2-3
Don’t miss the two-day Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Admission gets you a souvenir sampling glass so you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-taste sampling of beer and bourbon, plus enjoy delicious southern fare and all-day live music.

Beer, Bourbon& BBQ

Fishing for Beginners

August 3 ~ 10:00-11:30 AM
Harris Lake County Park
The program will cover fishing basics such as how to prepare a rod and reel, bait a hook, cast your line and how to handle a fish. Instruction will be followed by an opportunity to fish in the pond. Fishing poles and bait will be provided, or you may bring your own.
Free for ages 7 and up; advance online registration is required for all participants. 

Summer Daze Music Festival Vol. 2

August 17
Celebrate summer at the second annual Summer Daze Music Festival at Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park in North Hills. Bring your friends to this celebration of music, local businesses, culture, and summer fun! 

Summer Daze

Packapalooza

August 24
This North Carolina State University’s Wolfpack Welcome Week block party event draws more than 80,000 attendees! The free and open-to-the-public event features more than 300 vendor booths lining Hillsborough St., along with food, games, arts and crafts, a water slide (bring your bathing suit!), visual and performing arts and more. 

Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival

August 24-25
This beloved Cary festival has grown to two days, featuring more than 300 artists from 16 states! There will be multiple stages of live music, a beer garden and plenty of food trucks to keep everyone happy. It’s a wonderful event to enjoy with family and friends of all ages!

Lazy Daze Festival

Please let us know if you go to one of these events or if we’ve missed something special going on around town! Connect with us on social media or you can email us at inquiries@logpondrealty.com

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     

Quick Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Homes sales are slowing!  More homes are on the market.  Competition for buyers is increasing. What can you do to help your home sell faster? Here are a couple of quick tips to get your home sold more quickly.

Make Buyers Feel at Home

Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make them feel like they belong in this house! Once the house has been decluttered, keep it organized! Before any showings, pick up toys, make the bed, and put away clean dishes.  See more tips to get your home ready to sell.  

Home Staging

Home staging is basically cleaning your home and rearranging the furniture (or renting furniture if it’s empty) so your home looks like a showroom. A professional home stager sees your home from a buyer’s perspective and understands how to highlight its strengths and soften its flaws.

A Well Staged Home

Professional Photography

Did you know that 92 percent of homebuyers (according to realtor.org) use the Internet as part of their home search?  Also, the average homebuyer spends an average of 10 seconds viewing a listing on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com!! Homes that use professional photography also sell 32 times faster! With more homes on the market and homes staying on the market longer, it is critical that your home stand out above the competition.

Promote Your House Yourself

As listing agents, we do everything from videos, social media posts to yard signs and printed brochures (and several more things) to get the word out about one of our listings.  Sometimes, the best leads come right from our home sellers. We recommend that our clients also get the word out by posting on their social media accounts to family and friends.  You never know what friend of a friend or distant relative may be looking to buy. The more people who know about your sale, the likelier you are to find someone who is interested, and that’s vital when you’re figuring how to sell your home fast.

Promote Your House Sale, Too.

Price It Right

More inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. You want to make sure your home is noticed. The key to selling your house in 2019 is ensuring it is priced to sell.  Pricing is as much of an art as a science sometimes. It’s not just about what you need financially, but what the market will handle and how much value your home—and your neighborhood—has.

Also, take into consideration the upgrades you’ve made to the home and its features. While you probably won’t get a 100% return on your investment for renovations, they’ll likely affect how much your house is worth. That’s a lot to consider—which is why the most important thing about pricing is to work with your real estate agent and trust their advice. This is one of the most important ways their expertise will help you sell your home fast.  

Home Pricing is Critical

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   

 

Sources: 

Shocking Stats About the Importance of Photography in Real Estate:  RIS Media Selling Your Home Faster:  Keeping Current Matters    

COMING SOON: Meticulous Ranch in Cary!!

Coming Soon:  301 Wax Myrtle Court, Cary, 27513

If you are looking for a well-maintained ranch style home in Cary this might be the one!  Located just off SW Cary Parkway, this home offers 3 bedrooms,  2 baths in an open floor plan.  Convenient to everything that Cary has to offer including shopping, restaurants & great recreational activities.

Check out our Video Tour!

Stop by our open house on Saturday, July 20th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

This one is not to be missed!

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.

Contact Us

Phone:  919.589.3576
Email:  inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

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

https://youtu.be/D4CtyzDi_5U
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 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.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Home During the Holidays

Christmas is right around the corner.  Time to prepare those Christmas gift lists! To quote one of the lines from one of my favorite TV Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer:

A scooter for Jimmy
A dolly for Sue
The kind that will even say, “How do you do?”
When Christmas Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.

Is it time to put a house on the holiday Christmas gift list?

Why You Should Consider Buying this Holiday Season

Turkeys and tinsel, dreidels and pumpkin pie. Yes, friends, the holidays are here again, and it’s the perfect time for … house hunting? OK, we know you’re busy enough planning family feasts and much-needed vacations while dealing with blustery weather, but hear us out. While it might seem counterintuitive to put a big-ticket item like a home on your holiday shopping list, it really does make sense.

Don’t believe us? Check out these surprisingly smart reasons to let everyone else hit the mall to buy half-off sweaters while you make the purchase of a lifetime: a new house to ring in the New Year.

Reason #1:  Less Competition

There’s typically less competition during the offseason, which means buyers can get more bang for their buck. About 40 percent of homes on average are sold in May, June, July, and August, according to The Housing Wire. The four months with the lightest sales are November through February, which means less competition as well.

Research from Zillow shows that those who buy a home during the peak selling point usually pay an average premium of $1,500, but those who purchase homes in, say, December paid $3,100 less than average.

Reason #2: Sellers are serious (or worn out)

Whether a house has been on the market for months or the “for sale” sign has recently appeared in the yard, sellers tend to be serious during the offseason. They are usually ready to make a deal, which means that buyers have more room for negotiation and throwing out a lower offer.

Most sellers have a compelling reason for putting their house on the market during the holidays. (Let’s face it: It’s no holiday party for them to have strangers wandering through their house.) They might be facing a relocation and want to get their kids settled before the new term. Or they might just be feeling some stress if they listed their home in the fall and it’s still languishing post–Turkey Day, making them just a little more desperate and anxious to deal

Dreaming of a New Home?

Topic #3: Tax Advantages

Yes, I said it! Taxes. Right after the holiday season comes Tax Season! In case you weren’t aware, buying before January 1 can help you save in April and beyond. Homeownership can bring numerous tax perks, from deducting mortgage interest to property taxes.

Also, many closing fees are tax-deductible if you itemize—although you should always double-check with your accountant about any tax questions.

Reason #4: You might become the center of attention

• During the warmer months, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, title companies and other professionals tend to be swamped, which means that clients might not always get the attention they need or want.
• Once the summertime sales are made, buyers may receive more attention from the experts and experience fewer delays and service issues.

Home for the Holidays

Reason #5: You can catch some great sales

Need new furniture or other items for your new home? Plenty of seasonal clearance sales will be available to help you apply a personal touch – but be careful not to spend yourself into unrecoverable debt.

Obviously, you should never rush into a major purchase just to save a couple of dollars; and please remember to make any large purchases AFTER you close on your home.

Give Yourself a Little Gift this Holiday

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.

December Events Around the Triangle

The holidays are here and now is a perfect time to come together with friends and family to celebrate the magic of the season.  The Triangle area is aglow with light displays, tree lightings, and other seasonal presentations.  Here are some of the happenings in December.

Christmas on Salem Street (11/30 to 12/2)

Downtown Apex will be transformed into a winter wonderland to ring in the Christmas season to Apex.  On Friday night, November 30th, the festivities include the official annual Apex Christmas tree lighting, caroling, and sleigh rides. Of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to greet the children. There will be merrymaking all up and down Salem Street, the stores will be packed with goodies and gifts that will make for a wonderful magical Christmas in Apex. This is all part of the reason Apex is the Peak of Good Living. On Saturday night, December 1st, the annual Christmas parade will be held at 5:00pm. On Sunday, December 2nd, the Apex Historical Society will once again offer historic homes tours.

Christmas on Salem Street

Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration (11/30)

Downtown Raleigh comes aglow for the annual Downtown Raleigh Tree Lighting Celebration at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.  Enjoy some tasty snacks and beverages from local vendors, holiday music and the opportunity to meet Santa Claus as he walks around the crowd meeting and greeting everyone (bring your cameras!).

State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony (12/6)

The State Capital Tree Lighting Ceremony is the official kickoff of the holiday season.  Join state dignitaries and local choral groups for seasonal songs and a joyous celebration.  After the lighting of the tree, stick around to tour the inside of the Capitol, covered in wreaths and draped in garland.

Christmas at the State Capital

Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour (12/8 & 12/9)

Historic Oakwood, a community of homes, many of which are dated to the mid-1800s to early 1900s, has its own small town feel. Elegantly decorated for the holidays, you can step inside about a dozen private homes, staffed with docents who tell the rich history of this Century Victorian neighborhood.

Historic Oakwood Christmas Tour

Chinese Lantern Festival (Continues to 1/23)

The Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary will once again be transformed into a magnificent setting when the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival returns this holiday season! The Festival will include more than 20 lighted displays including the spectacular Chinese Dragon on Symphony Lake.  This year’s festival will include the addition of cultural performances and artisan crafts.  Performances will include traditional Chinese dance, foot juggling and vase juggling, and Wushu/Kung Fu.

Chinese Lantern Festival

Holiday Performances

If you are looking for some indoor events and are looking ahead to the Christmas season, there are a number of holiday performances in and around the Triangle.  From ballet to musicals there are plenty of performances to get you in the holiday spirit.

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer: The Musical

Carolina Ballet: The Nutcracker

North Carolina Symphony Special Event Concert: Holiday Pops Spectacular

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.