In the latest edition of Carolinas Market Update, I talk about confidence and its considerable impact on today’s real estate market. There are plenty of good reasons to be confident right now. Appreciating home values, more realistic comparables, and a modest increase in interest rates have consumers asking “when do I pull the trigger for my next life move?”
The “confidence factor” is key to a stable and healthy real estate market. As home values continue to appreciate, buyers have a returned confidence in knowing that they can sell their home at a certain price, and buy a home that will increase in value at the same or greater pace.
It is true the real estate markets in most, if not all, communities has greatly improved. But no matter how good the real estate market is, you need to take steps to insure the greatest likelihood of success whether you are buying a home or if you are selling your house. Here are three easy steps to help guide you to success:
1. Get pre-approved for your mortgage loan.
Today’s financing is complex so why take a chance finding your dream home and then realize you cannot get the loan? Many buyers get pre-qualified for the loan, which has no substantive verifications – it’s a snap-shot into the big picture of the buyer’s ability to get the loan based on what is said. A pre-approval takes more steps to verify all your income documentation and your debt-ratios qualify you for the loan in order to buy that dream home. With a pre-approval your offer is solid with only the appraisal of the property being the contingency – it’s like having a green light in a busy traffic intersection!
For sellers in the market, if you have priced your house right and have it in great condition, you could get multiple offers. If so, you want to look at those offers that have buyers with solid financing options, and in writing. In this improving market, you don’t want to take a chance on a buyer who hasn’t confirmed their financial ability to buy your house because you risk losing that buyer who does have good financing!
As usual, it has started off as a great season for concerts goers. My husband and I started our concert season with Van Halen at Time Warner Arena on April 25 – loud and awesome as usual. We were lucky to see them since the rest of their tour has been cancelled. That same week, we attended the Sugarland concert at Verizon Amphitheater and especially enjoyed the audience interaction. On May 17, we were back at Verizon withStyx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent, and bought Jimmy Buffet tickets while we were there.
The Carolinas have many great venues for concerts, with both indoor and outdoor. And there is certainly no shortage of North Carolina artists.
Albemarle native Kellie Pickler played Charlotte on April 20. The former American Idol contestant was raised by her grandparents and cites her grandfather as a major influence in her life. Her sixth place finish was a springboard for her career, which included her biggest hit “Best Days of Your Life,” which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and reached No. 9 on the Billboard Charts. When I saw Kellie perform in Erie, Pa. about four years ago with Sugarland (yes, I’ve seen Sugarland four times), she was a very sincere and enjoyable performer.
I love to spend time outside riding my bike. If you are like me, and are looking to explore some new paths in Greensboro then the Downtown Greenway is just the place. The Downtown Greenway is a planned four mile walking and biking trail that will loop around downtown Greensboro. Its purpose:
When the Greenway is complete, it will be the only one of its kind in the state of North Carolina and only one of a few in the United States. So far, two phases have opened to the public. The photos show you the view of downtown Greensboro from the Greenway, and the art work that is at the Morehead entrance off Lee Street. That’s my bike leaning up against the artwork and what a great place to explore on your bike.
One of the real benefits of living in the Carolinas is the temperate climate coupled with the ability to travel and within a few hours visit gorgeous mountains and beautiful beaches. My daddy always told me it’s great to have friends with boats, mountain houses, and beach houses. That’s the best of all worlds. Many of us have always dreamed not only to have access, but to own a second home for future generations to enjoy.
Because of the economy and financial reforms, the secondary housing market has been impacted the hardest, second only to new home construction. To that end, if one has a nest egg or equity in their current home, the opportunity to take advantage and to own a second home is here. There will never be a time in history to strike better than now.
Need a little adventure in your life? Look no further than the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. It is the premier outdoor adventure center, and for me, a great place to spend a warm spring day. The USNWC is located on approximately 400 acres of woodlands and offers everything from rock climbing, mountain biking, rafting and kayaking, to a mega zip-line and aerial Adventure Course.
A few years ago, a group of us tackled the Adventure Course. It was a great experience and team building exercise. Walking across the high ropes course 30 feet in the air, with a partner, quickly forces you to put your trust in someone else. The rafting was also a thrill. You can experience up to class IV rapids on the largest man-made re-circulating river in the world. Luckily, I didn’t have to do any swimming that day!
Any month that begins with an official Fools’ Day bodes well as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, April Fools’ Day falls on a Sunday this year, making it less likely that my co-workers will even read my updated policy memo that forbids “self-Googling.”
Then comes April 2 and the NCAA College Hoops Championship Game followed closely by Opening Days atminor league baseball parks all across NC. You have to admit the month gets off to a pretty auspicious start.
Saturday, April 7, may take you to a Sandhills favorite…the 61st Annual Stoneybrook Steeplechase in Raeford. It’s a family affair this Easter weekend, with lots of activities for the kids, tailgate contests, food vendors…and, of course, the race itself.
Another annual event “blooms” April 11-15 when the 65th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival returns to Wilmington. In addition to the beautiful gardens, the festival includes a street fair, a circus, a tour of historic homes, and the coronation of Queen Azalea. Another highlight of the festival…singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins will be in concert on April 12.