Category: Homeownership

19 Jan 2011

Net Worth of a Homeowner

With so much mixed media about real estate today, I believe consumers who are considering purchasing a home are overwhelmed by what to believe and, against their best interests, have begun to shut it all out. By doing this, they are missing an unbelievable opportunity. Keeping this in mind, I promise to make this simple and to the point.

One of the main reasons to purchase a home now is affordability, which has never been better. Why you ask?  Increased inventory is to the advantage of buyers and that, combined with historically low interest rates, has created an ideal scenario for home buyers.

18 Jan 2011

Top 5 Tips for the “Accidental Landlord”

Have you become an “accidental landlord”? If so, you are not alone. Here’s my story:

My husband and I got married in July of 2008. Like any good Realtor, I decided to stage his house and make the necessary renovations to get the house sold. It took 3 months instead of 2 weeks…but FINALLY!  I changed the countertops, glazed the bathroom tile, landscaped and repainted.

The day that I put the sign in the yard, the stock market fell 679 points. (Do you remember October 9, 2008?) Needless to say, we decided to rent his house instead of sell it.

17 Jan 2011

When Are Homes Going to Appreciate?

Mortgage CalculatorWill homes appreciate again?

This is a trick question because many neighborhoods have never experienced depreciation.  How does that happen?  It is all about Supply and Demand as well as location, location, location. There are many, many neighborhoods that have been plugging along at 1-3% APPRECIATION PER YEAR. That’s right, appreciation, not depreciation.

For the majority, homes will begin to appreciate in value, but modestly … and from a new reset point (the way that they did over the past 40 years).

14 Jan 2011

Why Home Ownership Matters to America

When people think of owning a home, often times the focus is on the personal impact. There are many positives, from financial and tax benefits to the ability to simply decorate and manage a home as you like. But the American Dream has more than an individual impact.

In our third installment of our series on why homeownership matters, research from the National Association of Realtors clearly shows the positive impact reaches not just the individual, but the entire nation.

10 Jan 2011

North Carolina Homebuilder Bringing “Compact” To Real Estate

My sister bought a “compact car” in 1965…a Rambler. In the 1970s I hauled a used “compact refrigerator” (for soda only!) into my dorm room. “Compact discs” rocked my world beginning in the 1980s, and then came “compact flash memory” for my camera in the 90s. “Compact fluorescent light bulbs” were on my shopping list in this century’s first decade. Now, in 2011, I’m intrigued by “compact cottages.”

North Carolina homebuilder Barry Bialik in Asheville is promoting these “micro houses” through his website, www.CompactCottages.com. Ranging in size from 348 to 640 square feet, his compact homes are tiny and smart. They are capable of meeting North Carolina’s green home standards and receiving the “HealthyBuilt” certification. They’re energy efficient and low impact…and downright adorable.

6 Jan 2011

Why Homeownership Matters To Communities

Whether you prefer tree-lined streets of single-family homes, long drives with pastures right up to the front door or concrete sidewalks fronting majestic walk-ups, your home is always part of a larger community.

In this second part of our series on why homeownership matters, we explore the benefits that homeownership has on a community. According to the 2010 National Association of Realtors survey, there are plenty of benefits to explore:

3 Jan 2011

Start off the New Year on the Right Foot

I have always preferred simple things. One of my favorite toys as a kid was the Etch-a-Sketch ®, simply because you could easily clear the screen and start over.  The New Year reminds me of this. I get excited about the possibilities of a fresh start and a blank slate.

Whether to be more in shape, more charitable, more organized, more optimistic, or to read more … We make promises to ourselves that we will be better. For some of us that inspiration may only last a few days but for others it may last weeks and even months. I won’t bore you with the resolutions I have committed myself to for this coming year, but as one who finds it somewhat thrilling to organize things, I will offer a few tips to those who would like their home to be more organized in the New Year.

6 Dec 2010

Prevent Energy Loss During the Winter

We recently had a “green” builder do a presentation in our office and what I thought would be a dull topic actually ended up being incredibly informative.  With winter upon us, energy loss found in traditionally built homes became the focus.

It was amazing to learn how much energy actually seeps out of our homes. The estimates we were shown indicated that energy loss occurs through walls (35%), the roof (25%), doors (15%), floors (15%), and through windows (10 %).

While proper insulation is critical, one of the most cost effective things we can do as homeowners is weatherize by caulking around the outside of windows.  It was also suggested that homeowners check under bathroom and kitchen sinks for gaps where the pipe or vents go through the wall and floors. Again, caulk was suggested to seal up small gaps. Also, we were told that locking your windows will make them tighter and draft resistant.

21 Oct 2010

Picking the Right Paint For Your Home

I am a decision maker. My theory is that if something is wrong it can be fixed. Oddly though, the bigger the decision, the easier it is for me. Picking out paint colors is seemingly easy right? Not for me and my decision-making self! I can honestly say I have an easier time picking out a car than I do a color of paint. This fact was made clear to me the last time I had to pick out paint colors, I was so frazzled that no one in my family was talking to me by the time it was all said and done…

Lucky for everyone, this will not happen next time around. With the help of the internet, I solved all of my decorating dilemmas.  With great tools, like virtual paint tools, you can upload a picture of the room and change the color simply with a click of your mouse!

Not sure how much paint you need?  Make painting even easier by buying the right amount by using a paint estimator. For those that choose wallpaper over painting, there is also a calculator for that as well.

9 Aug 2010

Mythbusters: The Secret to Remodeling

The other day, I received my IRA statement in the mail. I won’t lie, I considered weeping. But instead I started to think about the returns on my investments. I realized that none have been as good to me as the returns I have received from homes I have sold.

Real estate is one of the best, if not the very best, investment you can make.

Even with less risk, you can still gain a big return on your investment.  Generally speaking, there are several factors that impact whether (and how much) a home will appreciate in value.  The economy and the region of the country you live in are just two of these factors, ones we have no control over. What we can control, however, are things like:

  • How long to own the property and when is the best time to sell
  • The money we decide to put into our home
    • How much and what improvements we decide to make can determine whether or not there is a gain in our investment
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