Research Your Triangle Area Home Before You Purchase….Not After

September 26th, 2013

While searching for a Triangle area home, it’s important to take a moment to research prospective neighborhoods where you are interested in purchasing a home.  This is one of the largest investments homeowners will make so it’s really important to do your due diligence and take care of some research!  A great real estate agent will help you with a neighborhood analysis to help clients understand current listings, recent sales, local restaurants, businesses and more for that area.

There are several items that homeowners need to research as well.   Don’t you agree it’s best to research homes before a purchase and then come to realize there isn’t a convenient gas station nearby?  That makes it tough for those early mornings before work where the gas tank is so low have your fingers crossed to just make it to the gas station.   🙂

Here is a list of items to keep in mind when you have narrowed your choice to one Triangle area home or neighborhood.  Some of these might not come to mind during the buying process but later on down the line you might have wished you had.

1. Drive through the neighborhood during different times of the day.  8:30 am, 12pm, 6pm to get a feel for the street/neighborhood.

2. What is the traffic like?  Is it noisy?  Do cars maintain the speed limit?

3. Is the commute to work and school pretty simple?  Will you be driving with traffic or against it?

4. Drive around the neighborhood and observe homes.  Are their lawns cared for?  Are their homes well maintained, painted, and normal upkeep taking place?

5. If you require childcare services, is there a facility you like nearby that could be on your way to work?

6. Does your street dead end? If so, is the house you are looking at the one whose driveway everyone turns around in?

7. Is there a nearby grocery store, gas station or Target?  (There are always things you need at the last minute or you have forgotten!)

8. Talk to any neighbors – make friends and ask for their impression of the Triangle area home.  They will tell you if there are barking dogs, train whistles, or lots of air traffic.

9. Are there sidewalks?  Would you want those for your child to ride his/her bike on?

10. Is there close proximity construction or rezoning that would affect the home?

There is never the 100% perfect home.  But with a little background work, you can ensure that you are confident in your purchase and getting the dream home (and neighborhood) you are searching for!

Get a free market report for an area!   If you know anyone looking to buy or sell a Triangle area home, I would be happy to help!

www.kellycherryhomes.com

triangle area home

Helping you find a Triangle area home!

Is Now a Good Time To Purchase a House in Raleigh?

September 23rd, 2013

purchase a house in RaleighIs the real estate market in Raleigh, NC good right now?   I think most experts can honestly say that it is a great time to purchase a house and interest rates seem to still be pretty low to average.  There are more home buyers in Raleigh, NC than there are for mid-priced homes for sale right now.  The Triangle area is hot (in August, Forbes listed Raleigh, NC as #3 for Best Place for Businesses and Careers due to the proximity of local universities).  Sellers are actively trying to get their homes on the market because they see the current demand for homes right now.  There are more competitive offers taking place as well as all cash offers.  Buyers and sellers are understanding the benefits of cash offers to help close faster and show the seriousness of the buyer.

But for those that are planning to speak to a mortgage lender, which I would highly advise, the following article is a great read for you.  Last week the Fed announced they will continue their bond buying program.  Read more so you understand how this could affect interest rates.  No one knows for sure but experts believe this could be a reason for a drop in interest rates.  For those of you considering a house purchase in the near future, this might be a good time over the next few weeks to evaluate a purchase.  A mortgage lender can give you details on available options and other loan information you might need to help with your decision.

If you know of anyone in the Raleigh area looking to buy or sell a home, I would be happy to help!

www.kellycherryhomes.com

kelly cherry realty

New to Real Estate? 5 Tips on Mortgages

September 17th, 2013

In the Raleigh real estate market, home sales are trending upwards.  In August of 2013, the average number of days on the market was 70.  Last year at this time, it was 110!  With the mortgage rates still fairly low and decent inventory on the market, people are deciding that now is the time to buy and the next step would be to apply for a mortgage loan.

This is an area where you should know a few tips before you walk in the door.  As this is the largest purchase most will make, here are 5 tips that will help you before you sign on the dotted line:

1. Go ahead and get pre-approved.  There is a major difference in getting pre-qualified and pre-approved.  The pre-approval process goes through the credit check and looks at your financial background to really confirm the amount you would be approved for.  This is important during the buying process because delivering a pre-approval letter with your offer lets the seller know you serious.  This also helps brokers understand what price range their clients needs to be in.

2. Just because you are pre-approved does not mean that is your mortgage all set and in the bag.  Once you put in your offer and go under contract, your lender will check your credit again.  During the house-hunting process, it helps if you avoid major purchases like buying a new car or taking out a new credit card.

3. Work with your lender for loan options as there are some out there that might work for you and your situation.

4. Your income level is only 1 piece of the pie.  Lenders also look at other debt you have and if it’s a high amount, that could limit the amount you are approved for.

If you know anyone looking to buy or sell in the Raleigh area, please let me know and I would be happy to consult!

www.kellycherryhomes.com

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Home Sales in Raleigh and Home Improvement Ideas

September 9th, 2013

This Month in Real Estate and Home Improvement Ideas

This Month in Real Estate September 2013 was just released today for the US and home sales in Raleigh definitely play a part in these monthly numbers.  Every month I patiently wait for this video to be released because it really does offer helpful information for brokers, their clients, and potential clients.

It’s a brief video, it’s only 1:34, so that makes it perfect for those of you short on time or at work.  I’ll callout some information you should be interested in.

*Home sales median home price have stayed steady at $214,000 and sales are up 13.7% from last year!  This continues to be good news for homes sales in Raleigh and the Triangle area!

Most common home updates sellers make when they are ready to list a home:

  • fresh paint
  • new flooring
  • updated light fixtures

It’s common knowledge that most often the homes in the best condition often fetch the highest sales price AND the most traffic for showings (a picture says a thousand words!).  That is why in Raleigh, it’s important for sellers to really evaluate their house and listen to their agent on best suited fixes that will help the home sell in the shortest amount of time!  If you decide to make updates, realize which updates are for you and your enjoyment and which updates are for future buyers because that helps you decide on the amount of money to invest.  Remember, the money that you put into your house might not be the same money that you get out of it during a sale.  For example, if you invest 30K on finishing out your attic in your home in Raleigh, you can’t necessarily add that to the value of the home and expect that back when it’s time to sell.

If you are not interested in putting money into the house since you are moving, there are a few things that could happen.  The number of showings your house receives could be lower or the sale price is not what you expect or would like.  Sellers need to remember that point and it’s important to realize which updates are for you to enjoy and those that are for the future buyers.  A great real estate agent can help advise you on what updates will be best for showings, home improvement, and an ideal sale price.

If you know of anyone in the Raleigh/Triangle area looking to buy or sell a home, I would be happy to help!     www.kellycherryhomes.com

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Looking for the Ultimate Coffee?

September 3rd, 2013

Today is a great day.  It’s the day we all look forward to.  You’re probably thinking…what could actually be more worse?  It’s the day after Labor Day and our 3 day weekend is over.  But today my friends, today is the day that officially starts the fall season!  I’m not talking about the calendar date September 22, the actual first day of the autumn season when the sun moves crosses the celestial equator moving southward.  I’m talking about something bigger, something larger, and something that you can absolutely count on that everyone knows and have been anxiously salivating at the thought.  Quite possibly, if it didn’t happen this year, there might be a few protests outside those cute little green and white coffee shops that rest on every other corner in NYC.

I’m talking about the PSL.  And if you don’t know what that stands for then I question your judgement.  The Pumpkin Spice Latte.  It’s here and today is the official day of debut!  Thank goodness it’s back once again this year and everyone can enjoy that tasty autumnal coffee from Starbucks that makes us truly believe that fall is on it’s way.  That might be the one coffee that Starbucks has on their menu where you can pretty much guarantee EVERYONE knows the name of that drink.

There’s something wonderful about this coffee.  I don’t think it’s strictly loved for the flavor and the limited time it’s offered by Starbucks.  This coffee with an orange-brown hue is also loved because it reminds people of pumpkin patches, football games, colorful leaves falling, sweaters and sweatshirts, and Halloween and Turkey Day.

Thank goodness the PSL is back.  I know that is going to be my standard drink of choice until it’s season comes to an end.  So grab one this weekend and as always, if you know of anyone in the Raleigh area looking to buy or sell a home, I’d be happy to help them out.  Coffee is on me!

coffee in raleigh

 

Events in Raleigh Over Labor Day Weekend

August 30th, 2013

raleigh eventsDid you know Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882 in New York City?

It’s the Friday before the Labor Day holiday here in Raleigh, NC.  If you are lucky, the company you work for celebrates this holiday and most people always have the first Monday in September off.  Even at 10 am this morning, any normal person is trying to finish up their work as fast as possible so they can scoot out of work early!  It’s probably a very productive day of the year because who wants emails on their vacation?   It’s also the last day of the month on a holiday weekend so those of you in sales….GOOD LUCK!

For most of us, it’s the LAST three day weekend until Thanksgiving and it’s the last mini-vacation friends and families are able to take together.  People are packing their cars up and heading out of Raleigh for a last vacation at the beach, one last camping trip, or one last airplane flight to visit family.  Wherever you are going this Labor Day Holiday, have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

If you are staying in Raleigh this weekend, there are a ton of events taking place that would be fun!  Click here for more entertainment, restaurants to check out, and ACC sports this weekend!  (Go NC  State!)

I’ve highlighted a few events that might seem interesting:

Allman Brothers – Friday, Aug 30

Hank Williams, Jr – Friday, Aug 30

Dinosaurs in Motion – Museum hours and kid friendly

Downtown Raleigh Walking Food Tour – Sat, Aug 31, 2:30

African American Cultural Festival – Sat, Aug 31, 11 am

Raleigh Haunted Ghost Tour – Sat, Aug 31, 7:30pm

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Where’s Your Ideal Home?

August 25th, 2013

It’s Sunday morning and a beautiful day here in Raleigh, NC at 72 degrees, no humidity, and a fantastic breeze.   I had to take a moment and ignore the “to-do” lists running through my mind for later today, the list of homes to show a buyer today, the pile of baby laundry I need to wash, the grocery list I need to get together, and just sit down and enjoy my coffee on my patio in my backyard.

This view is one of the reasons why I bought my home.

backyard view from home

Everyone has their criteria for what type of home they would like and the ideal location.  I had an ideal location to search and I have to say, mine was a pretty small radius.  Houses for sale in my ideal location were few and far between and unless I got lucky…I might have to sit it out and wait.  But I found it and I can go out my front door and then hit about 5,000 acres of trails for daily jogs in the state park.

What’s your search criteria?  Everyone has a different need and want while searching for a home.   Maybe you don’t mind the location or a lengthy drive to work however, you’re focused on keeping it at a certain price point.  Maybe you want a home no more than 15 minutes from your job to keep your commute to a minimum.  Maybe you want a community with lots of trees, large lot sizes, or a golf course community.  Maybe you want a neighborhood HOA or one without.  Privacy in your backyard might be important to avoid your neighbors knowing when you are sitting on your porch or BBQ’ing chicken.  It could be an endless number of reasons and you can have more than one requirement and the trick is to finding that ideal home.  A good agent knows what homes are out there and a great agent knows homes out there but also what might be up and coming on the market to help in your search.  To find the best suited home for you, make sure your agent asks you detailed questions which will help them narrow down communities and homes for you.  The questions might seem tedious at first but it will help the agent and the client from wasting time searching for homes that aren’t ideal.

If you know anyone moving to the Raleigh or Triangle area, I would be happy to help them take a peek around!  www.kellycherryhomes.com

Kelly Cherry Realty, 919-601-0260, kcherry@kw.com


 

Take a 2 Minute Break and Read the News

August 23rd, 2013

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We work hard, play hard, clean the house, and have 100 other “get it done” tasks in our daily lives. Sometimes, it’s just nice to take a break from reality.  That is what Facebook is for my friends.  Admit it, you all look at a smart phone and skim around for a mindless 2 minute break (on average, right?).

As important as it is to be serious about real estate, where the market is at and how great it is going in our area, it’s also important to relax.  Each Friday, I’ll blog about something lighthearted, casual, funny, or whatever I’m in the mood for while drinking my coffee that morning.

This week, my inspiration came from CNN.com and some of the most “important” topics I saw this week on CNN.com.  I always find it interesting what CNN considers breaking news but they must need a break from reality just like the rest of us 🙂

 1. Slightly real estate related – Phil Mickelson listed his 4.55 acre ranch for $6.995 million.  Located in Rancho Sante Fe, CA, this 9500 sq. foot gem is basically out of the majority of homeowner budgets…very nice to look at. 🙂

2. LeBron sports a new haircut, well actually no hair at all.  Maybe you sports nuts are interested that his hair went from ¼ inch in length to him using a razor to shave his head but either way, CNN put it on their home page.

3. Studies show that users who use Google search engine are smart and rich. Does it increase your odds the more times you actively go to the Google.com?  🙂 Who comes up with these studies?  Google owns 67% U.S. market share so that should mean that more than half of us are smart and rich.

4.Now this is cute….and odd at the same time.  Someone in Kansas is building small Gnome homes in the trees in a local city park.   Each home has a nice front door, miniature dinner table and a nice pebble path up to their front door.

 top cnn stories

5.The new iPhone is said to be unveil September 10.  This information is actually important because I know how much our phones mean to us.  With a new mobile OS, fingerprint scanner for security, and new color palette (think gold), this will definitely bring on the lines outside the Apple store yet again.

gold iphone

 

And there you have it folks…your  serious 2 minute hot topics recap.

Have a great weekend!

If you know anyone moving to the Raleigh area, I would be happy to help them take a peek around!  www.kellycherryhomes.com

Kelly Cherry Realty, 919-601-0260, kcherry@kw.com

Prepping Your House To Sell

August 19th, 2013

Prepping a Home for SaleLast week I went to lunch with a great friend who is thinking about putting her home on the market in a few months, probably around November or December.  She had a few questions and mentally made a note on what she needs to do to prep the home to sell but these helpful tips would be great for anyone in the market to sell their house.

1.  Note that I used the term “house” and not “home”.  Go ahead and get that home term out of your mind.  It was your home but now you are trying to sell it and the faster you separate your memories, the faster you probably will get your house under contract.  A lot of homeowners let their emotions play into the sale of their house and sometimes that can delay your willingness to agree to an acceptable offer.

2.  First impressions are everything.  Curb appeal is important – get that mower out, prune overgrown bushes, and plant some flowers.  It makes the home more attractive when buyers see a nicely manicured lawn.

3. Put away personal pictures and remove all trinkets.  Pack them away securely in a nice box and please remember, you can take them out in your new house – you aren’t banning them forever (for those of you that collect little teacups, dolls, or dinosaur figurines..not making this up folks. Dinosaur figurines.)  It’s good to remove all your personal items (buyers walk through and try to envision their personal belongings) and de-clutter your house.

4. Are there repairs that have been anxiously waiting for you to complete?  Do them now as most often, a buyer will request it completed in the offer process once the home inspection takes place.  It is usually better to go ahead and fix than to increase the possibility of discouraging a buyer.

5. Give the interior a facelift.  If you can say to yourself that the rooms might need a fresh coat of paint then most likely, they do.  Go ahead and pick some neutral colors that could appeal to all and brighten up the room a little.

6. Clean, clean, clean..make sure the inside is tidy whenever you have a showing.  Don’t leave anything on counters, dust, wipe down counters and sweep, mop and vacuum.

7. Got animals?  Make sure the home doesn’t smell like them when people walk in.  If you need to use a scent in your home, use something fresh like vanilla, lemon, lavendar, or even a fresh baked cookie smell.  Just don’t go overboard 🙂

8.  Clean the exterior.  What does your deck look like?  Does it need a new fresh coat of stain?  Remove any cobwebs around the outside of the house.  Clean the windows and make them shine.

9.  If you are putting it on the market to sell in the dead of winter, take a few high resolution photos of the house and the yard in the summer.  These summer photos can help peak interest and make the home more attractive to buyers looking at homes in the MLS or skimming sites like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com in the dead of winter.

If you know anyone moving to the Raleigh area, I would be happy to help them take a peek around!  www.kellycherryhomes.com

Kelly Cherry Realty, 919-601-0260

kcherry@kw.com

 

Renovation in Downtown Apex

August 16th, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I love a good fixer-upper home.  I’m not saying I would take on this challenge to renovate unless I had infinite hours of spare time, unlimited amounts of resources and money where I could put any feature I want in the house, and a General Contractor connected to my hip managing the trades needed.  I’ve always been drawn to the Inner Beltline area in Raleigh and the charm and elegance those bungalow homes have.  There is an aura to that area and don’t get me wrong, I love my current home and the area but if I could have a second home, I’d buy up a bungalow in a minute, gut it and renovate.

So, last weekend my friend and I went to check out a foreclosure in the historical district of downtown Apex.  Such a charming Apex area and the picture of the home we were to view was adorable.  You could see the potential of this Apex home, painted nice and white with rocking chairs on the front porch, a new red front door and new aluminum roof.  Of course, lots of work to get the inside done but my friend could visualize everything she would fix when knocking out walls, the roof, refinishing the old wood plank floor and updating the kitchen.  She’s an architect by trade so just by eyeballing something, she has a a true skill in finding its full potential.  I always say she is My Dreamer.   She just has this ability not many people I know have in sketching, creating, building…..I mean, even her Halloween costumes are amazing!

downtown apexWe pull up to the house and folks, it.does.not.look.like.the.picture.  Honestly, this picture must have been taken 15 years ago in Apex when bushes were not overgrown and there was not piles of junk on the front porch.  As a Realtor, you never know what you will run into when looking at a house, even a new house.   We slowly creaked the door open, her tape measure and notepad and is ready to get to work.  Two feet in, I stop in my tracks and said out loud that I wasn’t going any further (I should have realized this when my husband stated while in the car that he wasn’t even going in). Besides having the skill to see the potential a home could have, my friend is not scared of anything and doesn’t hold back.  Me – yes, I get creeped out by the occasional scary movie but in this house, I was honestly worried something was going to jump out and bite me from behind one of the piles in the house.  Her daughters weren’t scared either..they looked at the piles of trash and trinkets in the house as treasures and didn’t understand how someone could abandon their possessions.  The ceiling was about to cave in, a mosquito infestation, holes in the walls, old cat food on the floor, and dirt everywhere where just a FEW of the surprises.

This place was bad, real bad.  You feel sorry for the neighbors in the area and hope that in such a cute Apex community, someone will come in and rebuild.  It wasn’t a few renovations here and there as the only thing salvageable was probably the original hardwoods installed when the house was built in 1915.  So, as this wasn’t the perfect home for us, the there are so many real estate options in Raleigh and Apex so the hunt for the perfect fixer-upper continues!

If you know of anyone interested in buying, selling, or investing in real estate, please let me know as I would be happy to help!  Thanks for visiting www.kellycherryhomes.com!