Lots of Space in Hope Mills, NC

ImageI have a great house for sale in Hope Mills, NC.  It is in a great location, in the back of a neighborhood, with the yard backing up to a wooded area.  I really would like to get some potential buyers out to look at it.  Like most properties, it does have pros and cons and I would like to take a few minutes to take you on a tour. It starts with location, which I have already described.  It has a sloping back yard, which a lot of people do not like. But this gives the opportunity for a high deck that overlooks the wooded area behind the house, giving it a kind of resort feel. There is a nice, spacious dog run in the corner of the yard that stays. There are also several fruit trees planted in the backyard. The front of the house has a large, deep porch, perfect for multiple rocking chairs. Inside the house, you enter by way of a foyer, which leads into the great room. The great room is large enough for your big furniture and the fireplace is the focal point. The eat in kitchen also has a dining bar, which adds space to your dining area. The kitchen is roomy with a bay window that lets in a lot of light. The master and two bedrooms are downstairs. Upstairs is a great surprise! At the top of the stairs is a wonderful, large landing with multiple built in bookshelves. Everyone can use extra storage!! There is a forth bedroom, plus a bonus room. The children’s bedrooms are brightly painted in their favorite colors. Some people do not like the colors, but really, for the competitive price that this house is listed at, plus a painting allowance, can you not have the house painted before you move in?? The house, with four bedrooms, plus a bonus room, at 2300 square feet, is only listed at $169,000, well below other houses of this size in Hope Mills. So, if you would like to take an actual tour and see this house, contact me and I will be glad to arrange it.

Reliability of Real Estate Information

As I work with a lot of home buyers and sellers, I can constantly see the effect of the HGTV network and the internet. These are great forums and buyers and sellers are coming to the table much better informed than they were 5 to 10 years ago. My word of caution to you is to realize that real estate, like many economic issues, is very geographically specific. It is true that there are general trends that affect everyone, such as tighter credit criteria, more foreclosures, lower housing prices and lower interest rates, that still varies greatly from one locale to another. When I have someone come into the Fayetteville market and expect to be able to buy a foreclosure at 1/2 the asking price, because that is the way that it happens on television, I have to explain to them that is not the reality in our market. Also, as I was getting ready for work this morning, I had HGTV on (yes, I love their shows), but the couple trying to sell their home and discussing their options had a calendar hanging on their wall for 2010, three years ago. A lot changes in three years and from place to place. So my advice to you is to learn what you can from television and the internet, but find a very good real estate agent that you trust and then let them guide you through the process. They are the expert in your local market and they will be able to give you the best advice.

What is My House Worth Today?

I love working with sellers. I like helping a seller market their house so that they can sell it in a timely manner. A lot of people are currently considering whether they can sell their home for a price that they are comfortable with. Unfortunately we all know that there has been a negative inpact on the value of our homes in the last several years. I frequently am asked to provide someone with an analysis of what their house is worth. This can range from a fairly simple process for some houses to a very time consuming task for others. What I am able to provide is a comparative market analysis, backed by data, that shows you what your house should be worth in the current market. I can also help you to figure out how to take that number and back out the expenses of selling it so that you can derive your net profit. I am not here to tell you whether you should sell your house or not. I am here to provide you with as much accurate information as I can to help you make the best decision that you can. So, if you are considering a move, whether in the next couple of months or longer, please contact a real estate professional and ask them to provide you with a CMA and Net Profit Worksheet to assist you in your decision. Use our expertise to your advantage.

Should I get a Home Inspection?

This is a question that is often asked by prospective home owners, particularly new home owners.  These days, when money is so tight, buyers are checking all of those little areas where they can save a few bucks.  Usually, that is an excellent strategy, always review to make sure that you are not paying more than you should.  But I always tell my home buyers, please get an inspection.  It is not my decision, but it is my duty to protect my clients and to make sure that they have all of the facts in front of them and that they understand the consequences of their decisions. Even with new construction, an inspection is a good idea.  If I was buying a home today, I would definitely hire an inspector and then I would be by his side every step of the way.  I would ask him a million questions.  There is a lot that you can learn about the operation of your new home from your inspector.  Do not overrate the inspection though, it is only a snapshot in time of how things are currently working and if they are up to code. An inspector can usually tell you also the approximate age of some of your home components. And with the age, you can approximate the life left in that component.  Like any other service that you hire, make sure that you research your inspector and ask for references.  In our area, the average cost would be from $300 to $450 for an inspection. The inspection comes with no guarantees. Even with that being said, your home purchase is one of the largest purchases that you will probably ever make, so I reiterate, get an inspection.  It is definitely money well spent.

Investing in Real Estate

One of the big areas of opportunity at this time is investment property in real estate.  There are two main purposes of investing. One is to flip the property.  Buy a house, improve it and sell it for more than you have invested in it.  Great in theory, but may not be as profitable an opportunity now as it was several years ago.  With so many houses on the market, you would have to price and market your house very competitively to sell it quickly and that would cut into your profit margin.  The better purpose of investing at this time would be to acquire a rental property that can appreciate over time.  There are great bargains out there right now and the money is to be made if you can purchase a property and hold it for several years until the market improves.   Over the next couple of days, we will explore some of the things to look for when you are considering an investment property.  It is a huge investment that can pay great dividends if executed correctly.  Come back here tomorrow to add your comments and pass along some of your tips to us on investing in real estate.

I Can’t Sell My House!!

It is true, it is definitely a buyers’ market right now.  With that being said, there are buyers out there.  We have multiple inquiries every day.  So houses are selling. But, there are many reasons why your house may not be selling, even though it has been on the market for a while.  Some of these reasons can be addressed and put you back in a competitive position.  If you are not currently working with a real estate agent, I suggest you find one that you are comfortable with.  The main reason that people try to sell their house themselves is so that they do not have to pay a commission.  If you are not in a hurry to sell, that may not be a problem.  If you  run the numbers and add up the months that your house is sitting on the market and you are making house payments, it adds up very quickly and you can find that it would have been more cost-effective to have that agent working for you. What can an agent do for you?  To start with they will do a CMA, comparative market analysis.  This tells you how you can fairly price your house in the current housing market.  Price is the number 1 search criteria that people use.  An agent can also give you an impartial, unbiased, unemotional assessment of how your house shows, both inside and out.  Curb appeal does matter.  Agents have a massive internet presence, which is the number 1 way that people are searching for a home.  Your home that is listed with an agent has the ability to be seen by millions.  And last, but not least, when that buyer is found, your agent can help guide you through the legal process of closing that sale.  I encourage you to interview real estate agents and find one that you are comfortable with.  In the current market, you need every advantage that you can get.

Short Sell vs. Foreclosure

Let me start this short conversation by stating that I am in no way an expert on financing  or financial options.  I do not ever intend to give financial advise.  Frankly, if I was an expert at either, I would have retired several years ago.  With that said, I do think that it is important that we, as real estate advisors, make sure that we are guiding our selling clients in the direction to get informed advice from experts if they are in the position to consider foreclosure.  There is a big difference in short sale and foreclosure.  Again, I do not feel comfortable going into this subject in-depth, but I do know that there is a big difference in the long-term effect to your credit depending upon which option that you are able to choose.  Sometimes we are in the position, when we have a home listed, to become the home owners confidant regarding their financial situation.  This becomes a very emotionally charged situation when someone can’t afford to maintain their house payments and their house is not selling.  Although we can provide informed advice on the best pricing scheme, this does not mean that the home owner can afford to sell their home at the market value.  If the home owner risks losing their home, we should be steering them to their lender to have open discussions as to their options.  In a short sell, there is an agreement by the lender to allow the home owner to sell their home for less than they owe the lender.  With this option, the home owners credit is not as adversely affected as with a foreclosure.  In a foreclosure, the lender takes back the property and the foreclosure has a longer, more detrimental affect on the credit rating.  Either option is not the primary aim when we discuss listing a house with an owner, but often circumstances beyond our control lead us down that path anyway.  Guiding that owner to get the financial counseling that they need is the least that we can do to help in that situation.  How do you handle that type of situation?

Thinking of Selling Your House?

People sell their houses for different reasons.  They may have to relocate because of employment or the military.  They may be considering a larger house or a smaller one, because their family needs have changed.  A more prevalent reason lately has been because of economic hardship, maybe caused by unemployment.  What ever the reason, there is usually emotion attached to making the decision and throughout the process.  The reason that a person is selling maybe involuntary and so there may be anguish about a move.  Even if the move is voluntary, there is often an emotional attachment to the house because of family events that occurred while you resided there or maybe you  personalized the house and put a lot of yourself in it.  Either way, it is a huge, important decision and you have to be very careful that the decisions that you are making are not based off of emotion.  One of the largest stumbling blocks for most sellers to get past is their impression of what their house is worth and what it is really worth in the market today.  Having the right real estate advisor guiding you through this process is extremely important.  The advisor can give you an impartial, informed comparative analysis of your home.  They will pull statistics of comparable houses that have sold recently and show you how your house compares.
The real estate advisor can give you unbiased advise on how to present your house.  Yes, maybe your favorite color is hot pink and you are really happy that your living room and your dining room reflect your personality, but $100 of paint may be the difference in whether you home sells or not.  Remember, the final decisions on any aspects of selling your home are entirely up to you, but do consider getting professional advice from a trained realtor to help you get the most out of the transaction.

Farming and Real Estate

I’m sitting in the living room last night catching up with my husband about our day and I told him that I was preparing to farm a subdivison.  Well, my husband is actually a farmer (kind of), you know the agricultural kind, so I have completely confused him.  So, I have to take a little time and explain the concept of real estate farming to him.  Basically, you choose a neighborhood or subdivision to create a relationship with.  I will advertise myself throughout the neighborhood and over a period of time, my name will become known to some of the residents of the neighborhood.  Hopefully I can be there to answer some questions for them or explain some processes that might make their decision-making about real estate easier.  The first step will be to send a letter to every house in the neighborhood and introduce myself.  Within a month, I will take a few walks through the neighborhood and introduce myself in person.  Over the next 6 months, I will send out a couple of mailings with some helpful information.  I am advertising myself, but I need to hold up my end of the bargain that I am advertising.  We believe in customer service and in repeat business and referrals.  You get that by treating people well.  So, I’m going to farm my little plot, see what grows and hopefully have a good harvest that will benefit the community and myself.

Fayetteville, NC Neighborhoods

One of the things that I like about the Fayetteville, NC area is the diversity of people and neighborhoods.  The restaurant and religion choices show what a diverse community that we are.  With the military personnel coming into the area, many of them decide to stay in the area with their families. And no matter what your preferences or status in life, there are multiple neighborhoods in the area to meet your needs.  There are wonderful established neighborhoods with homes built in the 60’s and 70’s that have a unique charm of their own.  There are subdivisions that were developed 10 to 15 years ago and have great lots and houses.  And of course, there are a lot of new communities springing up everywhere with new amenities with price ranges for everyone.  I have lived in the area for 7 years and over the past two weeks, I have traveled through neighborhoods that I never knew existed.  It has been so enlightening and fun to find all of these wonderful areas tucked away so close to the city.  If I was looking to buy a house today, I think that I could be totally overwhelmed with choices. Definitely a good position to be in!!