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.

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.

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.

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

You may not think that the holiday season is a good time to sell your home, but think again!  This holiday season there are lots of holiday home buyers looking for great homes across the Triangle, NC area.  Follow these quick simple tips for merry home sale!

Yes, its that time of the year again!  It is the holiday season!  Time to deck the halls, trim the tree, find your ugly Christmas sweater & toast in the New Year! But is it time to sell your house?

While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.

First, decide if you really need to sell. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips.

Holiday Tip #1: Deck the Halls, but Don’t Go Overboard

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers.  Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

Deck the Halls but Be Classy!

Holiday Tip #2: Give Holiday House Hunters a Place to Escape from the Cold

When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings; playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats.

Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold

 

Holiday Tip #3: Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority

 

When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard.

Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice, and leaves.

Holiday Tip #4: Hire a reliable real estate agent

Hire someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s.

Also, marketing your home takes extra importance during the winter season when the gardens are less than colorful and the leaves are off the trees.  Premium photography and video tours of your home are a critical part of the marketing program for your home.

When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.

You’ll get less foot traffic during the holiday’s thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

Use Premium Photography & Videos to Capture Holiday Homebuyers

Holiday Tip #5: Relax – the New Year is right around the corner!

The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.

Enjoy Your 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.

Real Estate Market Update – Q3 2018

How is the real estate market?  That is a question that we get a lot and there is no easy answer.  If you are a home seller, it is great.  If you are a home buyer, not so great.  Here is the Q3 2018 residential real estate update for the Cary, Apex & Morrisville, NC real estate market.

Home in Cary, NC

How is the Real Estate Market?

As a real estate agent, the most common question that I get is, “how is the market?”  The short answer is, “that depends….” There is no one real estate market.  Even in a small defined area like Cary, Apex & Morrisville, NC there are lots of differences across various sub-markets.

In this post, we are looking at two markets.  The first is the Re-Sale market for homes priced under $400,000. The second market is the New Construction market.

Recap

The market still is heavily tilted toward home sellers, as low inventory and buyer demand remain two of the themes of this market.

Resale Market $400,000 and Below: Demand for resale listings in the price points below $400k continues to outstrip supply.  Inventory stands at one month.  Across Wake County, inventory is set at two months while a neutral market is 6 months of inventory.   75% of all re-sale listings sold within 1-30 days, while 22% sold above the final list price and 10% had competing offers.

New Construction: The inventory of new construction accounted for 56% of the homes for sale at the end of Quarter 3. The average list price of new construction is $493,800.  As more new homes continue to come online, this will put more pressure on the resale market, especially in the $400k-$600k market.  Those priced above 400k must be updated and priced competitively to compete with the new construction homes.

Total Inventory:  Total inventory up 14%, new home inventory up 31% and re-sale inventory down 3%.

Prices:   Average overall sales price up 4%.  Average resale sales price up 3%.  The average overall sales price, resale sales price and median detached sales price per square foot were the highest on record.

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.

 

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.

Real Estate Market Update – August 2018

How is the real estate market?  That is a question that we get a lot and there is no easy answer.  If you are a home seller, it is great.  If you are a home buyer, not so great.  Here is the August 2018 residential real estate update for Wake County.

How is the Market?

As a real estate agent, the most common question that I get is, “how is the market?”  The short answer is, “that depends….”  In recent months, if you are a home seller, the market is been outstanding, probably the best ever.  Inventory is at a near all-time low and buyer demand has been strong.  For homebuyers, the market has been very tough.  Low inventory and high demand have resulted in multiple offer situations and closing prices above asking.  Investors have benefited from rising rental rates and strong demand for rental units.  Truly, there is no one single answer to the question, “so how is the market.”

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

August Real Estate Market Stats

This month, we kick off a new series highlighting some of the trends and statistics for the residential real estate market around the Triangle.  Each month, we will focus on a different segment of the market.  This month, we are looking at the general brokerage statistics for August 2018 for Wake County.

 

 

Recap

The market still is heavily tilted toward home sellers, as low inventory and buyer demand remain two of the themes of this market.  We are starting to see some changes overall in the market, both nationally and in the Triangle.  Recent reports on the national market hint toward the market easing a bit and becoming more neutral, neither favoring buyers or sellers.  That remains to be seen and will monitor this in future posts.

A couple of highlights in the August data:

Average Sale Price:  Both for the Overall Market and the Re-Sale Market are up compared to 2017, but both numbers have declined each month since June.  While June normally is the strongest month for home prices, we shall see how prices trend in the coming months.

Days on Market:  Days on Market has increased each month since May to 43 days in August, up from 41 days in July and 32 days in August 2017.

Listings:  Increased 14% in August.  This is partially attributed to the increase in new construction.

Photo by Sarah Jane from Pexels

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 assisting you to write 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.

 

Homebuyer Sabotage

The homebuying market is tough!  As a homebuyer, the last thing you want to do is to sabotage your home purchase.  There are several simple things that you can do to avoid homebuyer sabotage.  Follow these simple steps and you will be calling that house your home in no time. 

The Homebuying Market is Tough

The home buying market is tough!  No question.  The last several years have been tough for homebuyers.  Low inventory, high demand, rising prices, and tighter lending rules have all contributed to this market.  As a homebuyer, what can you do?

What You Can Do

We work have worked with many homebuyers; from first-time home buyers to people looking step down, step up or buy their retirement retreat. Even before we begin to look at houses, we spend some time getting to know our homebuyer and talking to them about the ins and outs of the local market.  We also talk quite a bit about the home buying process.  Even for many experienced homebuyers, the process today can be quite different from the process just a few years ago.  Our goal is to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients.

One of the things that we talk about our ways not to sabotage your own home purchase.  A few weeks ago, I highlighted three ways that a homebuyer can sabotage their home purchase.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

This week, we introduce three additional ways.

 

To recap, here are 6 ways that you as a homebuyer can avoid sabotaging your home purchase.

Recap – Ways to Avoid Homebuyer Sabotage

Stay Pre-Approved:  NO new lines of credit, minimum credit card usage, no late payments.

Don’t Dilly Dally:  If you fall in love with a house, you will need to make an offer QUICKLY.

Not Placing Your Best Offer the First Time:  The risk with a low offer is that you will not only sabotage your chances of negotiating with the seller but your offer might simply be rejected outright,  without a counter, or even ignored.

Asking Too Much from the Seller:  Be careful about how much you ask for because a seller will weigh all the pros and cons, especially in a multiple offer situation, and not necessarily accept the one that was for the most money.

Nit-Picking the Home Inspection:  Focus on the important repairs!

Having Pre-Mature Buyers’ Remorse:  Once your offer has been accepted, the appraisal is done, the inspection is done, and everything is hunky-dory – STOP home-shopping!

 

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

 

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.