Category: Luxury Homes

25 Sep 2013

Can You Trust a One-Hit Wonder?

one hit wonderWednesday, September 25, is One-Hit Wonder Day. Having spent the first half of my professional career as a disc jockey in various cities, I’m no stranger to “one-hit wonders.” During my DJ era, I would “spin discs” (as we said back in the day) by one-hit artists like Soft Cell (a former “Gongaware Pick-to-Click”), Norman Greenbaum, and ? and the Mysterians. (I always thought  ? was singin’ “you’re gonna cry for 96 years.” Who could count exactly 96 “tears,” I reasoned.) Due to my inability to relate to “adults” throughout much of my radio career, I was spared having to play Debby Boone or C.W. McCall.

Of course, “one-hit wonders” exist in fields other than music.  For example, there’s Jeremy Lin, the Hummer, Silly Bandz, and, of course, the Zestimate. The Zestimate is a cleverly named web application meant to provide an estimate of a home’s value. It was created by a media company called Zillow, a property listing “syndicator”…a word disturbingly close to “syndicate.” Their name came about by the company’s desire to meld “zillions” of raw data points (mostly from county tax records) with “pillow.” Really? (I think instead they should have combined “zillion” with “Toro,” the official mascot of the NFL’s Houston Texans. Then they could have called the company “Zorro”…which is much cooler, in my opinion.)

23 Sep 2013

When Should You Request A Home Inspection?

A new home has come on the market and it seems perfect. It has the desired number of bedrooms and bathrooms and exhibits the charm and character you’d hoped to find when you started your home search. But with the real estate market heating up, you might worry someone else could beat you to the punch.

home inspectionBefore putting in your offer, however, you may want to consider having a home inspection done. While home inspections are typically conducted after an offer is made, prospective buyers can benefit by having a home inspection done before they put in a bid. Knowing the results of the inspection early can help solidify your decision to buy the home and make you feel confident about crafting a strong offer.

18 Sep 2013

What NOT to Do During the Mortgage Process

As a buyer, you are justifiably filled with excitement about the largest purchase you will ever make.  But slow down … and contain your excitement just a bit. There are pitfalls you must avoid on the road to homeownership, as they may impact your loan approval. Don’t open any new credit accounts before or during the mortgage loan application process. Any new debt can negatively affect your credit score and may affect your ability to qualify for the loan you want. Buyers beware: Lenders may pull another credit report 3-5 days prior to your closing to ensure no new credit has been established. Don’t move money around in your checking/savings accounts. Most of the time, deposits into a checking/savings account must be verified by source...
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11 Sep 2013

Buyers Like Garages – A Lot!

For many buyers, a garage isn’t simply a nice extra to have when purchasing a new home. Increasingly, garages are on the must-have list. In addition to protecting cars and other vehicles from bad weather and animals, garages provide extra storage space which is always a plus. They can also expand the living area and serve a multitude of uses, such as providing space for an outdoor gym or room for an impromptu band rehearsal with the old roommates. A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders found most buyers want a garage. About 32 percent of buyers said they view garage storage as essential, while 54 percent rated it as desirable, according to the report What Home Buyers Really Want. Most...
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9 Sep 2013

The Housing Scorecard

As we move into the last month of the 3rd quarter, it’s a good time to take inventory of where we are – and how far we’ve come thus far in the housing recovery in 2013. Where are we nationally with distressed properties? Here in the Carolinas, it feels like the inventories have dropped dramatically. From July 2012 to July 2013, distressed properties fell 32 percent nationally, according to CoreLogic. In July, 949,000 homes were in some stage of short sale or foreclosures, compared to 1.4 million just a year earlier. How about homeowners who are still “upside down”? Negative equity means that the homeowner owes more than what they can sell the home for. It is a real measurement of the health...
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6 Sep 2013

How To Get The Most In A Multiple Offer Situation

The real estate market is sizzling. You’ve done your research and have put your home on the market and voila - your hard work pays off as multiple offers come rolling in. But what to do with your abundance of good fortune? Your Allen Tate Realtor® will lead the process and handle the finer points of negotiating. However, a little homework and understanding of negotiating etiquette can help ensure you avoid landmines and keep the advantage. Before you even list your home, it may be wise to order your own home inspection. That way you are aware of work that might need to be done and can decide whether you want to make the repairs or reduce your asking price accordingly. When the...
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4 Sep 2013

Curious About Housing Activity In Your Neighborhood?

market reportEvery homeowner is curious about home values in their neighborhood and how the current market activity may be affecting their home’s value. At Allen Tate, we’ve made that really easy for you!

“Market Report” is an exclusive tool developed by our firm to keep you abreast of real estate activity in your neighborhood. It provides a summary of all the properties for sale, properties under contract and recent sales. It allows you to link to full property details on each home including photos, and then summarizes all the statistical data for the properties included.

We currently send in excess of 60,000 Market Reports monthly to homeowners who have subscribed to the report. It’s like receiving your stock investment portfolio statement every month – but it includes data on your real estate investment!

30 Aug 2013

What Buyers and Sellers in North Carolina Need to Know About “Due Diligence”

due diligenceBuying or selling a home is a major life event, and you want to feel confident that you’ve had time to thoroughly understand any transaction you decide to make.

North Carolina homebuyers have a period of time during which they can fully investigate a property (and the financing process associated with the transaction) and decide whether or not to proceed with the home purchase.

Sellers, meanwhile, can be compensated for the period of time the buyer needs for their “due diligence” period. This fee could be in addition to an earnest money deposit, which is treated separately in the Offer to Purchase and Contract. The “due diligence” process was incorporated into the North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract nearly three years ago by the North Carolina Association of Realtors®. With due diligence, a buyer and seller agrees upon a period of time during which the buyer can research a potential purchase.

During a negotiated due diligence period of time, the buyer must complete all of the inspections, surveys, and appraisals typically performed by a diligent buyer. In addition, the buyer needs to be satisfied with the documents governing the home; the availability and affordability of insurance for the home; and their own ability to be approved for a mortgage.

26 Aug 2013

The Homeownership Rollback

sunFrom 2000 to 2007, it is very safe to say that it was our national policy to increase the rate of homeownership as much as possible. We all know that a society that nurtures homeownership increases pride and wealth. The solace of old age and sweat equity all feed into a better, more sustainable economy locally and nationally.

But we learned a valuable lesson from this. While widespread homeownership is a lofty goal, it has a ceiling which cannot be crossed.

Unfortunately, owning a home where you can afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance, but cannot pay for repairs and maintenance spells trouble – which we have seen during the recent recession. Wholesale price reductions and market instability have pushed the percentage of homeownership down to the low 60 percent range. The fallout means a huge rental market of people trying to clean up their damaged credit.

23 Aug 2013

Home Staging Secrets

staging“All the world’s a stage” – and so is your home when it’s on the market. It’s important that you present your property in a way that helps buyers visualize themselves at home – in your home.

To give your home that “wow” factor and distinguish it from the competition:

1. Get rid of clutter.

Most of us have it, but when you’re trying to sell a home, clutter can distract buyers from what you really want them to notice.

Pare down your belongings and remove personal items, such as photos, children’s artwork and vacation souvenirs. You’ll enhance your home visually, and make the space look bigger. But don’t hide your clutter in the closet: You want to show off your storage space.

2. Every room needs a purpose.

Buyers will be distracted by a room that appears to have no function other than to collect junk.

Repurpose unused space to add value. A comfortable armchair and lamp can be used in a small space to create a cozy reading nook. Or drape fabric and add cushions and create a yoga room.

3. Use wall color to make rooms look bigger.

Using the same wall color in adjacent rooms will create an easy flow and make the entire space look bigger.