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.

Real Estate Market Update – October 2018

 

 

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 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.

November Events Around the Triangle Area

Halloween has come and gone & Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Yup, the BIG holiday, Christmas is approaching also.  If you are thinking that your fall fun is over, THINK again!  There are lots of great activities in an around the Triangle to enjoy!

In fact, November is a great time around the Triangle area!  Days are generally pretty warm, ranging in the 60’s to 70’s.  Night time temperatures range from the 40’s to 50’s.  So, grab a jacket and enjoy all that the Triangle has to offer.  Here are some great ideas in and around the area.

Raleigh Christmas Parade (11/17)

This is the 74th year for the Raleigh Christmas Parade.  The Raleigh Christmas parade is the largest Christmas parade between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Over 250,000 will watch the parade live from home and over 60,000 will attend the parade in person. The parade will last approximately 2.5 hours and will feature something for the whole family.

Chinese Lantern Festival (11/23 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

Christmas on Salem Street

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

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

Football Action

The ACC football action heats up as all three local teams are in action including the traditional Duke versus UNC match on Saturday, November 10th and the Wolfpack take on the Tar Heels on Saturday, November 24th.

ACC Soccer Action Comes to the Triangle

If the pigskin isn’t your thing, there are several opportunities to check out some football action with a round ball.  The ACC Women’s Soccer Championship will be played at the Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary from November 2nd to the 4th.  The ACC Men’s Soccer Championship will also be played at the Wake Med Soccer Park from November the 9th to the 11th. Check out the ACC website for game times.

If you want to see some of the best young soccer players in the country.  The North Carolina Football Club will be hosting their annual Boys and Girls Soccer Showcases each weekend throughout November.  The Soccer Showcase is one of the largest soccer showcases in the country and teams from across the US will be competing at various venues around the Triangle. Check out the NCFC website for more information

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.

Creating the Strongest Bid in a Seller’s Market

Submit your highest offer upfront and put the seller’s wants first, and you will be calling that house a home in no time 

You see the perfect house on-line and you call your agent to schedule a showing.  The house is perfect!  It has the gourmet kitchen, open floor plan, lots of storage, the fenced in yard for the dog…it has everything you want and it is in the perfect location! 

Because the house is perfect for you, it is also perfect for everyone else.  Such properties quickly generate multiple offers in a very short time, but only one of those offers succeeds — and you want to ensure that your offer is the one that succeeds.  To ensure that happens, you need to place the best offer in a market that has significantly favored sellers for many months.   

Once you have found that perfect house, you should prepare to jump in with a strong offer that should contain these elements:    Continue reading “Creating the Strongest Bid in a Seller’s Market”

Triangle Parade of Homes Week 1 – Bailey’s Hill by Drees Homes

Triangle Parade of Homes Kicks Off this Weekend!!

You couldn’t tell by the weather that it is the beginning of October! Tomorrow kicks of Triangle Parade of Homes sponsored by the Home Builder Association of Wake County.

The Parade of Homes is an annual, free tour that is open to the public and is the best way to view the newest homes and the newest communities throughout the Triangle. The 2018 Parade of Homes will be held on October 6-7, 12-14, 19-21.

Bailey Hill in North Raleigh by Drees Homes

If you are thinking about building a new home, this is a great opportunity to check out the latest styles and new home communities across the Triangle. Each week, we will be featuring a new home community. This week, we are at Bailey Hill in North Raleigh by Drees Homes. Kelly and I just closed on a new in this community and this home is wonderful! This home is an entertainers dream with an open floor plan, gourmet kitchen, floor to ceiling fireplace and massive full basement.

Drees Homes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For questions on this community or other new home communities across the Triangle, check out our website at www.logpondrealty.com or email us at inquiries@logpondrealty.com

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

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.

Tips for the First-Time Homebuyer

Over the last several months, Kelly and I have worked with a number of first-time homebuyers. Being a first-time homebuyer can be tough.

The Affordability Squeeze
The Affordability Squeeze

Affordability is at an all-time low for starter homes, and it’s making things tough for prospective first-time homebuyers to cross over from renting to owning. Demand for starter homes, pushed by increases in rental rates has pushed buyer demand for starter homes.

A recent news story from Bloomberg noted that starter homes prices have past pre-recession levels and the typical first-time homebuyer needs nearly 23% of their income to afford the typical entry-level home, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Across the Triangle area, there are a number of older neighborhoods featuring smaller, lower-priced homes that highly sought after by first time home buyers.  A few months ago, a client of mine called me about a small ranch home in a highly desirable area of Cary.  The home had been recently renovated and had many features sought by my client.  When we arrived at the home on a Saturday morning, there was a long line of real estate agents and their clients seeking to tour the home.  Ultimately, my client decided not to place an offer on that home but did find a great home in an adjacent neighborhood.

Home in Cary

 

Buying Requires Patience & an Understanding of the Market

This market requires patience!  Lots of patience and an understanding of the market. One of the things that Kelly and I do with all of our buyers is schedule a face-to-face meeting with all of our buyers before looking at a single property.  Our aim is to understand what is really important to our client.  Our second aim is to educate our clients about the market.  A huge part of our role is educating clients about the reality of this market.

A Reality Check

Once we have met with the client, we will ask them to meet with a local lender.  Reality check time!  One of our biggest tips is for our clients to meet with a lender and get pre-qualified before looking at houses.  It’s important for a first-time homebuyer, in fact, any buyer to have an understanding of what they can afford before looking at houses.

Reality Check

Last year, I had a young couple call me about a new listing in downtown Apex.  Downtown Apex is a very hot area.  Demand is very strong and prices have rapidly increased over the past many months.   My clients had been to several open houses and had fallen in love with a beautiful neighborhood close to downtown. Unfortunately, they did not qualify for their desired neighborhood.   Luckily, my clients found a great home in Fuquay-Varina that didn’t offer the central location they were looking for but did offer many of the home features that they desired.

It is important to remember that you may not be able to get everything you want in your first home and it is important to have realistic expectations.

Quick Tips

 

Here are some quick tips for the first-time homebuyer:

1) Get Pre-Approved:  As mentioned above, get pre-approved before looking at homes. Sellers typically won’t accept your offer unless it’s all cash or you have a lender’s letter saying you can get the financing you need to close the deal. Consequently, being pre-approved for a loan is crucial.

 

2) Prioritize Your Preferences: Make a list of what’s important to you and your family, whether it is location, condition, price or certain amenities, and be prepared to make sacrifices.

3) Know Your Budget

4) Be Realistic 

 

5) Act Fast: If a house is listed Monday, don’t wait until Saturday to see it.

6) Get Educated:  Being well-informed about the local housing market — including knowing the prices of recently sold homes, taxes, the school district, etc. — can give you an advantage over experienced buyers who are out of touch with the trends.

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

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 with assisting you to write 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.

 

 

 

Getting Smart About Real Estate – Why You Need a Buyers Agent for New Home Construction

Thinking About New Home Construction?

Anyone that has driven around the Raleigh-Durham area has seen a large number of new home construction projects.  They are everywhere!

If you are thinking about buying a new home, new home construction is a great way to go.  You can select your options, be the first to live in a home, enjoy the “new home smell”.  It all seems so easy.  You meet with a nice salesperson, you pick your lot, you pick your colors and your elevation and you are on your way!

But hold on…!!!  New home construction is not that easy! 

There are lots of things that can go wrong!  Here at Log Pond Realty, we have worked with many buyers looking at new home construction and we know that things can go sideways fast.

In this segment of Getting Smart About Real Estate, we will highlight some of the reasons why you need a buyers agent for new construction!

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

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 with assisting you to write 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.

June Real Estate Stats for Triangle Region

June is typically the busiest month in real estate across the Triangle and for Kelly and I, the month of June was no exception.

June Stats – Triangle Real Estate Market

Typically, June is the month where we see more listings, and more prospective buyers are looking at houses.  That was not the case this June.  Showings were down 17% and listings were down 8% compared to 2017.  It appears that the consistent lack of inventory; combined with the rise in sales prices, up 5% from 2017, are keeping prospective buyers on the sidelines.

June Quick Stats

While fewer people are looking, those buyers that are looking at houses are buying and the prices that they are paying continues to increase.

Downtown Apex

Pending home sales increased by 4%.  Home prices, both new home, and resale increased past the $300,000 mark for the 1st time ever.  Average new home prices increased to $325,000, while resale prices increased to $308,000.

See market statistics here.

July and August are generally slower for the real estate market as the summer vacation season ramps up.

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories made, and lives lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write 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.