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 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 – inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

Summer Fun in the Raleigh Area

SUMMER IS HERE! 

Time for trips to the beach, baseball games, cookouts, outdoor concerts, pool parties and plenty of outdoor fun!  Here are some summer fun ideas around the Raleigh area!

Open Air Tunes

There are hundreds of outdoor concerts in the Raleigh area this summer.  Check out the guide to the hottest concerts in the area.

On the Water Fun

Rent a canoe, kayak, sailboat or stand-up paddleboard and get out on the water! Check out this guide to kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and more in Raleigh, N.C.

Sailing in the Raleigh Area

Back on Land

Take advantage of the area’s abundance of parks and greenways and hit the ground running with eight of the area’s best trails to hike, bike & run.

Celebrate Independence Day!

Ready to celebrate Independence Day in a big way this year? Fireworks displays, carnival rides, live music, and other patriotic celebrations are lined up all across the Raleigh area!

Roundball Action

Whether you’re a fan of baseball or football (soccer to most) there are plenty of games to watch around the area.

Catching a Game at the Carolina Mudcats

Summer Treats

Ice Cream is our favorite summer treat and there are lots of great options around the area.  Check out some of our favorites.

Fresh Local 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 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 

Should I rent or buy a home?

Our parents’ generation considered this question a “no-brainer”!
OF COURSE, you should buy a home!
However, as Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-Changing . . . “ 

It is a personal choice and can be the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. So, we have listed below just a few of the many factors to help determine what is the right choice for you.

Rent vs Buy

Financial Situation/Liquidity

Can you afford to buy a home? Approximately one in three American households rent their home, according to the most recent U.S. Census Report data. This is the highest it’s been since the early 1960s! Renting an apartment typically involves few costs other than paying the rent and utilities. Purchasing a home typically requires money for a down payment, closing costs, and maintenance.

Age and/or Stage of Life

Data shows that those just starting out and those at the end of their working years prefer to rent. They prefer to invest their money, use it for other purposes and generally desire less responsibility for yard work and repairs.

Flexibility

Today’s world has changed dramatically in just one generation. We have replaced our roots with wings and become a global civilization. It is now common for young adults to leave their hometown to pursue a career or educational opportunity far from home. Technology and flexibility in the workplace allow for employees to work from “virtually anywhere” so proximity to a business center is not important. People often don’t want to be “tied down” by home ownership.

Winning Your Dream House

Benefits to Buying a Home

Investment

Purchasing a home allows you to develop equity. Hopefully, over time, your home will not only maintain it’s value but increase in value. Real Estate will always hold some value. By owning your home, you would be able to profit from the property’s appreciation in value.

Stability

Most homeowners get a mortgage to purchase that property. Rent can fluctuate at the landlord’s discretion but the common fixed rate mortgage will remain the same over time. Also, most leases last just one year so the turnover of tenants is high, but homeowners typically stay in their home for years allowing for a more stable community.

Personalization

In a rented home, you will have to live by the landlord’s rules and regulations. This might prevent you from customizing the place to your personal liking. Owning a home allows you the freedom to decorate and design your home to a place you really wanted to live in. And the more you customize it, the more it feels like home, and the more you won’t want to leave.

What is Best for You?

What is best for me?

There is no easy answer. This is just a brief overview as everyone’s situation is different. Our local Real Estate market is constantly in motion which also has an effect on the actual costs and benefits of renting vs owning. 
Please email us at inquiries@logpondrealty.com for more information.

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 

Serving 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.

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 – 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.

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.