We are often asked, "Where do you sell?" Well, the answer is just about anywhere in the Triangle! As licensed agents in North Carolina, we can show a property anywhere in the state, we just don't want to. We do know other great agents all through the county that we would love to introduce you to if you need help. Specifically, we sell in the Durham, Wake, and Johnston county areas. The picture above shows where we have been through the years.
In the last six months, we have sold in; Cary, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Morrisville, Raleigh, Wake Forest, and Zebulon. The homes we have sold were condos, townhouses, manufactured, and single family. They have been as old as 1950 and as new as 2016. Some needed a lot of work, others were move in ready. We have the knowledge you are looking for when going through this process and we strive to make it as fun and smooth a time as possible.
If you are thinking of buying or selling this year, we would love the opportunity to talk to you more. Feel free to send us an email or give us a call at 919-491-5109.
Do you believe whether a groundhog sees its shadow or not is a true indication of when Spring will come?
A lot of people aren’t even sure, which means we’re going to have more winter.
But even if you do, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If it’s sunny, and he sees his shadow, that means a longer winter. If it’s cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow, it means Spring will come sooner. That seems totally backwards.
And then there are lots of different groundhogs… which are you supposed to believe?
Groundhogs Don’t Predict Spring
Truth is, Spring never actually comes sooner, even if every single groundhog doesn’t see his shadow. It begins on a specific calendar day.
Now the weather on the other hand, that’s a different story. The weather will be what it will be. Weather is something people make small talk about.
But a groundhog predicting it!? Meteorologists can barely do it.
So, most people don’t put a whole lot of stock in what the groundhogs “say” on Groundhog Day. However, a lot of people do put stock in the “Spring market” when it comes to real estate.
Is Spring The Best Time To Buy And Sell Real Estate?
So many people believe it is the “best” time to buy or sell real estate. Not necessarily.
Sure, there is a definitely a “Spring market”.
But, first of all, to even say exactly what day it begins is impossible. Some real estate agents even say the Spring market begins in January. Others may say March. Or April. Maybe May.
And while there is no definite answer as to when the Spring market actually begins, it’s even more inaccurate to say that it’s the best time for you to buy or sell a house.
It might be for some clients… but certainly not for everyone. It depends on so many variables, and upon the client’s specific scenario and needs.
My Advice To You
Don’t put stock in the “Spring market”, no matter what you hear, or who you hear it from.
Do not base your decisions about when to buy or sell upon something people talk about as lightly as the weather… or whether the Groundhog saw its shadow or not.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer.
But, if you are thinking about buying or selling, or both, then we should chat. And strategize.
Is now a better moment for you to begin buying or selling?
Or is it better for you to wait until Spring is “officially” here?
Or perhaps Summer…
Like I said, it depends on a whole lot of variables.
So, if you’re thinking of buying or selling, let’s just chat.
If not, just stick this in your head for future reference!
Happy Groundhog Day
by Jenn Cole
We all set our clocks back last night (or I hope you did). It was really nice to sleep in that extra hour! I will state for the record though that I am not a fan it being so dark so early. Benjamin Franklin originally began the idea of Daylight Saving Time. The rationale is to save energy for lighting all times of the year. If you are truly interested, you can read all you want about it here.
Since this event is reliable twice a year it is a good time to remind us to do some simple home maintenance.
Here is a Top 10 common items list:
1. Check your smoke detectors and change their batteries.
2. Check or replace your carbon monoxide detectors.
3. Schedule your HVAC maintenance. Your system should be checked out by a professional twice a year to extend the life of the system. It is easy to remember if you do it now and again in the spring when you change your clocks again. Here is a great guy!
4. Change your refrigerator water filter and clean the coils.
5. Stock up on winter storm supplies now. In North Carolina we will surely have at least one catastrophic winter storm where we get 2″ of snow and the city will shut down. (Insert laughter from all the new residents of the state from areas that actually get real snow!) Obviously, you cannot stock up on the essentials such as bread, milk, and eggs now. This is a good time to purchase your AA & AAA batteries, a shovel, and propane. It is also a good idea if you see a random sled that you get that now so you don’t need to drag out the pool floats for the kids like we did last year.
6. Disconnect your water hoses from the house. Shut off outside water valves if it becomes really cold.
7. Seal any cracks in your driveway or sidewalks.
8. Have the gutters cleaned when the leaves finish falling.
9. Have your dryer vent checked and cleaned. Here's a guy for that too!
10. Mulch the falling leaves. Aerate, fertilize, and reseed your lawn. This way in the spring you are already ahead of the game! You didn't think I would leave you hanging.....here's a guy for that too ;)
Always remember, "a little care goes a long way". Spending a little time each season maintaining your home will payoff big time when you go to sell. After all, this is your biggest investment!
by: Jenn Cole
This past weekend marked the end of the 2016 Triangle Parade of Homes. The parade of homes runs through 3 weekends in October every year. This is when builders are putting out the best of their best. The homes are voted on by out of town judges. There are gold, silver, and bronze winners for every price point. All homes that are judged receive a special feature award. This is a really big deal for our new construction market!
Every year, I drag my husband around town with me to look at as many homes as we can squeeze into a day or two. This year we mainly focused on homes that were Inside the Beltline. We also ran out to see the home at North Ridge Country Club and one at Briar Chapel.
The one in Briar Chapel was a special one to me. This one my sister supervised the build for the annual "Build Like a Girl House" for Garman Homes. I must say that I was a very proud big sister and the group the refer to as the "pretty committee" hit the ball out of the park on this one. This is their current model home so you can stop by and see what I am speaking about.
Overall, we noticed many trends that seem to be happening currently in the new home building market.
1. Big outdoor spaces and retractable doors and screens. One of the things I love most about our area is how much time you can spend outdoors. One of the things I dislike about our area, is the incredible amount of bugs and mosquitos! This gave the best of both worlds.
2. Gray is the new black. Lots of gray from walls, to tiles, to granite, to kitchen cabinets. I prefer a little pop of color personally, but I guess you can get that other places.
3. Lighter hardwood floors and hexagon tiles. Dark hardwood floors look like they are being changed to lighter options. I have a bee obsession so of course I am drawn to the hexagon tiles! I do love both of these trends.....I think I want to do it in my own home. Someday.
4. Secret pantry. We saw this in 2 different homes. It was custom cabinetry that looked like it was a boring old cabinet. However, you opened it up and were able to walk inside. One was large enough that it was even meant to house the AV equipment. It was your own personal Harry Potter room.
5. Statement light fixtures. They are shiny, big and bright. Chandeliers are aplenty, not for only dining rooms any more. Big Ass fans were seen often as well. I love that they make ceiling fans pretty now.
6. Leathered granite. When someone falls in love with a home I can tell because they normally start touching things. Why not add some texture to the countertops.
If you were able to make it out to any of the parade homes this year, I would love to know what you thought. Comment in the section below!
Everyone has their favorite social media. I am a visual person therefore a big fan of Instagram. If you are thinking of moving to the Triangle, new to the area, or have been here for a long time here are my top 5 favorite favorite Instagramers to fall in love with the area.
1. RDU Baton. This one is a total favorite. One of those that I make sure I get notifications for! RDU Baton is a collaborative Instagram project for Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill. It literally passes the "baton" to a different person in the Triangle to document what they love about this area. I find new places all the time through the daily guests. (handle @rdubaton)
2. Downtown Raleigh Alliance. The good people at the the Downtown Raleigh Alliance do a great job contributing to producing events and contributing to the economic success of DTR. (handle @downtownraleighalliance)
3. Olde Raleigh. Olde Raleigh gives us insight into the way Raleigh looked back in the day. It is fun seeing what the area looked like when the buildings were new and before Raleigh was built into what it is now. (handle @olderaleigh)
4. Taste Carolina. I love to eat and Raleigh has tons to offer in that department. Taste of Carolina will keep you in the know. You can get offline with them as well and head out for a tour. It's a blast! (handle @taste_carolina)
5. Raleigh's Farmers Market. This one is not a true Instagram to follow as much as a hashtag on Instagram. Our area has so much to offer. It is a favorite place for me and my kids to get out and stroll. Check out what is in season at #raleighfarmersmarket
While you are adding to the people you follow on Instagram, I would love for you to follow me (handle @jenncole) and check out Be Home Realty (handle @be_home_realty) too!
Congrats! Your home has sold. What comes next? Before you begin to pack up your things there are a few more hurdles to cross, one being the home inspection. It is the job of the home inspector to go through your home and analyze the current condition of it. I have never met home inspector that does not find several items that need to be addressed in a home. Even in a brand spankin' new one. That being said, you do not necessarily want to leave lots of items to be found.
During the due diligence time frame, a buyer has the right to inspect any and everything about the home that they are getting ready to purchase. They also have the right to walk away from the transaction for any reason. Unexpected issues that pop up can make people nervous. Just as it's important to get your home ready to be marketed, it is just as important to prepare your home for the inspection.
Here are some tips to get ready:
1. Change out any burnt out light bulbs. An inspector will note worst case scenario since he will not know if it is a burnt out light bulb or faulty wiring.
2. Make sure receptacles are all working.
3. Label any light switches that are hard to know what they control.
4. Change your air filters. Dirty air filters restrict air flow and may lead buyers to think that you have not taken care of the HVAC system.
5. Often when I stage a home I tell my sellers to put all the "extra" stuff in the garage or basement. Clear a path around the walls of both so that the termite inspector can look around.
6. Make sure that there is access to the furnace, a/c, water heater, and electrical panel. If something is blocked it will not be able to be inspected and that could lead to the buyers asking for you to have it inspected.
7. Leave out any records of service that you have had on your systems (i.e. HVAC) or for any recent repairs that you have had done.
8. If you know that something is in need of repair....have it repaired! Preferably, this would have already been done prior to the day that you put your home on the market, but just in case.
If you have maintained your home while you have owned it there should not be too much to worry about. Eric Coates with Detailed Home Inspections is my favorite home inspector! Here is a list of the most typical problems he finds in homes during inspections. If you are just not sure how your home is going to fair, Eric can come out and pre-inspect before listing your home.
If you are purchasing a home for the first time the lending portion is often the scariest part to start. There are many programs that are available to you as a first time home buyer. The Mortgage Credit Certificate is one of those programs.
Here are some tips about the program from one of our favorite lenders, Chris Long from Equity Resources.
What is an MCC Credit
The Mortgage Credit Certificate or MCC is a program specifically for 1st time homebuyers that is a government tax credit equal to 30% of the annual interest paid on your mortgage. There is a max of $2,000 per year. Most of our clients do get the maximum credit allowed.
**Please note - This must be completed at time of purchase so if you are working with a lender that does not know what this is please give us a call as this Cannot be added after closing.
Basic MCC Credit Requirements
You must be a 1st time Homebuyer (meaning you haven’t owned a home in the last 3 years). Purchase price under $245,000. Total household income limits – which will depend on the county in which you are looking to purchase.
How do I apply for one
The only action required by you is to sign 3 forms – 1 to be signed in front of Notary.
How long does it stay in effect
The MCC Credit remains in effect every year you own the home. In fact even if you refinance the note you can transfer this credit to the new loan so it will remain in effect.
Remain in the home for 30 yrs. you can get up to $60,000 of cash reflected as a tax credit on your tax returns
Don’t miss out on your tax credit. Call Chris Long at 919-615-3152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Equity Resources, Inc. * 1330 Saint Marys St, Ste B050 * Raleigh, NC 27605
Licensing Information: Corporate NMLS 1579, NC L-134393-102. Chris Long NMLS 108499.
Have you recently started to look for a home to purchase? You have probably done your research online, found some homes, and maybe even visited an open house or a new home community. At one of these places you have definitely come in contact with a local real estate agent. They have asked you a bunch of questions and you may have given them your info....maybe you gave them the cold shoulder or your alias name. I often get asked, "Why should I work with an agent when buying a home?" Well, here you go:
Reason #1: In the state of North Carolina a Realtor needs to represent someone in a transaction. By default, that person is the seller. Keep this in mind when you are out and about. The job of a seller's agent is to obtain the best possible price for their client. This does not mean that they can hide material facts from you. They still need to tell you about the lead-based paint or anything that might affect the purchase of the house. However, you don't want to let that new home agent know that you are hoping to spend around $350,000 but that you are qualified up to $500,000 and that you need to be in that new house ASAP because you don't want to re-sign your lease and need to make a decision in the next 3 days!
Reason #2: I often have people say that they want to go it alone because they can find out all the information that they need to know on the internet. It's true....there is an amazing amount of information out there. However, there is also information that can be hard to find, or new communities that are going to be coming in the near future, or information about a landfill that has been proposed in the backyard but has not yet hit the news. A Realtor keeps up with all of this information daily. I am out touring properties that are on the market, finding out about the monthly incentives being offered by new construction, and know what is happening in the Triangle. I can give you the extra information that you need in order to make the most informed decision.
Reason #3: When it is time to write an offer it is great to have a pro on your side. The real estate forms that are used to buy and sell homes are constantly changing. I am up to date on all the changes that have happened as well as any other changes that might be upcoming. The current NC Offer to Purchase contract is 9 pages long with 23 different sections. I pull comps to help formulate the best possible offer. I know that Zillow will give you an "zestimate". Look at the details though. I recently had a listing and the range that they offered was between $159K - $296K. That's quite a broad window. Don't get me wrong....it's a great website for finding out information about property taxes and other homes in the area.
Reason #4: Once under contract this is where I really take over so that you can just have to worry about packing and choosing the new paint colors for your home. I account for all the monies passed throughout the transaction. I coordinate all of the inspections and the closing attorney. I hang out at the inspections to gather information for you so that you can go to your job. I have wonderful painters, handyman, power washer, carpets cleaner and anyone else that we might need to get an estimate from. I work with a rock star team. How does this benefit you? You do not need to worry about the quality of the people you use or spend time interviewing different people for the jobs. I make sure that all the correct forms are to whom they need to be with and manage the transaction for you.
Find out what other buyers had to say about working with me. Reach out to me today if you are looking for someone to help you in this process.
It is a crazy time of year. Party invites, shopping for gifts, your inlaws may be showing up any day now! Sometimes we all just need a little extra help this time of year. Don't worry....my elves are here to help!