Category: Location

25 Jun 2010

Summer Is Here – What’s Next For Residential Housing?

As the historic residential “spring market” comes to a close and we enter the transition period following the expiration of the tax credits, I am often asked questions such as, “where does the real estate market stand?” and “what is next in the recovery plan?

Let’s look at the first half of 2010 to understand what we can expect moving forward.

Overall, the trends have been very favorable in 2010.  I can best illustrate what is happening by examining one of our regions. In May, 2,537 homes were sold and the average closing price was $212,454.  This was the largest number of closings and the second highest average sales price in the past 12 months.  This is indeed good news and is reflective of most of the Carolinas.

24 Jun 2010

Making the American Dream a Reality

Carl Sandburg told us that “nothing happens unless first we dream”.  A fundamental dream that is as American as apple pie is the dream of owning a home. 

That dream just got a boost earlier this month with the launch of a workforce housing program that will educate the public about affordable housing options.  It will also prepare REALTORS to lead the way when they complete a Workforce Housing Certificate Program.

Why put a program like this in place? The bottom line is that it just makes sense!

First time home buyers accounted for almost half of all home sales in 2009 and are projected to be the fastest growing segment of the housing market through 2012.  When we help our everyday heroes, like police, firefighters and school teachers join the ranks of homeowners we are building communities, stabilizing our neighborhoods and putting their dreams within reach.

21 Jun 2010

Why is Now the Time to Buy?

If you are in the market for a home or are thinking about purchasing a home…let me tell you now is the time to buy.  Interest rates are at a 25-year low and the inventory of homes available is high, which means the advantage lies with the buyer. So there is a perception that buying a home in today’s market can be an easy decision if you have a steady job, good credit and don’t have a home to sell.

Let’s take a closer look at that statement.

Historically, we could win on both sides of the transaction because America’s housing values were appreciating.  Within the past three year’s however, we have seen depreciation creep in, especially where acute price increases were enjoyed.  Like the stock market, we are recalculating our market values to reflect the new norm.

16 Jun 2010

It’s All About the Arts

The importance of the arts, be it concerts, museums, dance, visual arts or theater, is undeniable. The arts teach us about a region’s history and more importantly enriches the lives of those who live there. Oftentimes, when individuals or families are moving to a new region, an important factor that they consider is a strong prevalence of the arts.

North Carolina is filled with cities that offer countless opportunities to engage with the arts, the city of Charlotte being no exception. I’m a concert junkie and recently I had the chance to attend two great concerts in Charlotte.

The first was The Oak Ridge Boys, held in uptown Charlotte at the Belk Theater in North Carolina’s Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.  Ok, so it may not be everyone’s taste in music but even my husband, who wasn’t so sure about going, enjoyed the music.  From the suburbs of Charlotte, it took us 30 minutes to drive uptown, park a block and a half away for free, yes free since it was after 6 pm, and walk to our venue.  What other large city (Charlotte is the 21st largest in the US) offers such convenience?!

14 Jun 2010

What’s Up with the Upper End Market?

There has been a lot of conversation recently about the first time homebuyer’s tax credit and its effects on the market. But what about the upper end of the market, specifically homes priced at $750,000 and above?

To understand the current status, we need to review what impacts buyers and sellers in this part of the market:

  • Ability to get mortgages
  • Inventory of homes on the market
  • Consumer confidence

While the same 3 factors affect all buyers and sellers regardless of price point these trends affect the high-end buyer a little differently. Let’s take a look at how this group specifically has been affected.

11 Jun 2010

The Spirit Rides On!

On May 20, 1775, British oppression reached a boiling point and the Scots-Irish drafted the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. This May, a statue of Captain Jack was erected in Charlotte, NC in honor of the brave citizens who delivered the Declaration one full year prior to the Philadelphia signing.

North Carolina stirred the pot.   Cornwallis called us “A Hornet’s Nest.”

Independence has been the cornerstone of America.  In residential housing, independents are still the driving force.  Contrary to what one might think, there is no national real estate company.  Yes, there are brands that folks may identify as such, but with those franchise brands, there is a required disclosure: “Each office is independently owned and operated.”

11 Jun 2010

Taste of Charlotte Starts Today!

We all love to eat…and there’s no better time to try new foods and restaurants in Charlotte than during the “Taste of Charlotte” festival, June 11-13. Whether you favor BBQ, Indian cuisine, fine wines, or gourmet pizza, it’s all found along Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte this weekend. Best of all, admission is free!

Food, drinks, dancing and music are part of the festival, and it’s not to be missed. Invite your friends who are new to Charlotte to attend…maybe offer them a few “Festival Coins” so you can treat them to some of the delicious food. The event is very “kid-friendly” with many games and activities just for the youngsters.

10 Jun 2010

Taking a Look at the Triad

I’m often asked how the real estate market is doing in the Triad Region.  In fact, one person recently commented that if the real estate market is improving, then everything thing else will too.  Housing normally leads the economy and I have to say the last 60 days have been fun again!   The first quarter was a promising start for 2010 real estate sales in the Triad market. March was especially strong and the federal government’s tax credits helped stimulate more April sales.

For those who are trying to sell their home, just remember that selling a home is dependent upon numerous conditions, especially price and maintenance. If your home is priced correctly and is in great condition, it will take approximately 4 months to sell a house in the Triad.  The average number of days your home will spend on the market will also slowly decline as the spring market continues to accelerate.

7 Jun 2010

What Does Quality of Life Mean To You?

The long term health of a real estate market is impacted by several factors. Previously, I discussed the importance of supply and demand. Another factor that plays an equally important role is quality of life. Unlike supply and demand, quality of life is not objective.   What does it really mean?  How would you measure it?  How could it be impacted positively or negatively?

A recent survey from Portfolio answered all of these questions by comparing the performance of the country’s 67 largest metro areas in 20 statistical categories.  The highest scores went to well-rounded markets with healthy economies, moderate costs of living, light traffic, impressive housing stocks, and high powered education systems.  And…drum roll please….

Raleigh, NC ranks #1 and Charlotte, NC ranks #16.  Our only 2 qualifying metros and they are both in the top 20.

1 Jun 2010

New Construction vs a Short Sale or Foreclosure

foreclosure1What can I say…I’m a new homes guy. I grew up in the business and have been involved with new construction for 33 years, so I guess I’m partial to “brand spanking new homes”. Re-sales and new homes have always battled each other. Now there are two more competitors that have entered the ring and are getting much attention. They are short sales and foreclosures.

So how do you decide which is the best VALUE for you? The old adage that the cheapest price isn’t always the best deal holds true here. So, let’s take a look at your options.

We’ll begin with the short sale which is usually a distressed property that the owner can no longer make the payments on. As a result, owners negotiate with the bank to let them pay off the loan at an amount lower than that of their mortgage. What is unfortunate is that, oftentimes, these owners cannot afford the negotiated monthly payment which means that they cannot afford to properly maintain the property. The result is disrepair. It may seem like you are getting a “deal” but after all the repairs are made…is it really? In addition most short sales are sold “as is” with no warranties, which means you have no remedy if there is a major problem with the home! To say however, that there are never warranties would be incorrect. Just be sure to specifically ask if the home comes with one.

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