Find Out Why More Than Half of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payments

True or false: if you’re buying a home, you need to have at least a 20% down payment? If you answered true, you aren’t alone—so did 62% of Americans.

But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth—and you don’t have put off your home-buying dreams just because you can’t come up with 20% down!

While a 20% down payment will help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), it isn’t some sort of home-buying hurdle that you must clear in order to buy. In fact, it’s far from the most common amount that U.S. buyers put down!

Here’s the truth about down payments—and why you shouldn’t let that 20% number prevent you from reaching your buying goals.

The Truth about Down Payments

A piggy bank standing against a white background.

According to NerdWallet’s 2019 Home Buyer Report, around 6 in 10 Americans think you need a 20% down payment in order to buy a house. Because of this, they also tend to think that it takes several years to come up with the necessary funds for buying.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking unnecessarily postpones plenty of people’s home-buying dreams!

The truth? The most common down payment amount—put forward by around 32% of buyers—was just 5% or less. Put that in terms of concrete amounts, and it translates to just $7,500 on a $150,000 home or $15,000 on a $300,000 home.

Other Common Down Payment Amounts

A single dollar bill sitting on a wooden surface.

While 5% or less is the most common down payment amount, it’s still just one of the many options that buyers choose. Here’s how the rest of the numbers break down:

  • 16% of buyers put down 6 – 10%
  • 23% of buyers put down 11 – 20%
  • 18% of buyers put down more than 20%
  • 10% of buyers bought their home outright

A 20% down payment is a great goal, but you don’t have to feel locked into that amount! Instead, consider how much money you’d feel comfortable with putting down, then work from there.

Buyers are Optimistic

A woman packing up her home and writing on a cardboard box.

Despite prevailing misconceptions about down payments, buyers are still feeling optimistic about the market. Around 42% of Americans feel better about their home-buying prospects this year, which is up almost 20% from last year.

Additionally, 44% of people say that the current economic and political conditions make them more likely to buy in the next year, which is around a 10% increase from last year.

Long story short? Now’s a great time to buy!

Find Your Dream Triangle Home

Buying a home is major step, so it’s important that you have trusted and experienced professionals on your side. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have over 300 years of combined real estate experience, making us well-equipped to provide you with everything you need to find home-buying success.

Take some time to explore our resources for home-buyers, learn a little more about what our past clients have to say, and use our specialized search tool to narrow down your options. Once you’re ready to get started, we’d love to talk details!

Keeping a Healthy Credit Score – DOs and DON’Ts

How many times have you been told how important it is to keep a healthy credit score? The biggest benefit of keeping a healthy credit score is that you will enjoy the benefits of lower interest rate, especially when you go to finance a home, buy a car, or invest in property for your business.

There are five things that influence your credit score:

  • Payment History – 35% – bills you’ve paid on time
  • Level of Debt – 30% – how much you owe and how it is used
  • Credit Age – 15% – average amount of time credit line is open
  • Mix of Credit – 10% – credit cards, loans, and other credit accounts
  • Recent Credit – 10% – credit inquiries – several in a short period of time can damage your credit

There are also several DOs and DON’Ts that can affect these five credit score components. Here’s Linda to tell you about them.



  • Pull a credit report – you pulling a credit report will not affect your credit so it’s good to do this once a month to make sure it is correct. The credit bureau does get things wrong from time-to-time.
  • The rule of thumb for credit cards is to only use 30% of your available credit and pay it off every month.
  • Collections can kill your score. If you have them, settle as soon as possible with the company you owe and then ask for a Letter of Deletion (not a Letter of Satisfaction) for the Credit Bureau. This permanently deletes that collection from your account and will increase your credit score.
  • If you want to buy a home, choose a mortgage lender that uses a credit simulator. They can really help you manage your credit to your best advantage.


  • Don’t open new accounts
  • Don’t cancel credit accounts
  • Don’t consolidate credit – this really damages your score

If you would like help finding a mortgage lender in the Raleigh area with a credit simulator to help you achieve a very healthy credit score, give us a call. It doesn’t cost a thing to take steps to increase your credit score whether you are looking for a home or a space for your business. We’re here to help! For residential real estate assistance, call 919-235-0007 or visit For commercial real estate assistance, call 919-466-5000 or visit

The First Triangle Oktoberfest is Next Weekend!

What are your plans for next weekend? Want to celebrate German culture and support your Triangle community? Then head to Triangle Oktoberfest in Cary!

The First Annual Triangle Oktoberfest

Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre will be hosting the first annual Triangle Oktoberfest experience! This event will celebrate German beer, food, and culture in a family friendly environment. The weekend kicks off Saturday immediately after the Alzheimer’s Walk at Koka Booth.

It will be a two day event, starting on Saturday, October 3rd at noon until 10pm, and beginning again on Sunday, October 4th at noon until 6pm. Proceeds from the event will go toward both local and international causes.

Food, Beer, and Family Fun!

The event’s website has a fantastic overview of the details, schedule, and information. Of course, there will be tons of traditional German food and beer to sample as well as many activities to participate in – such as wiener dog races, German bands & dancers, inflatables for the kids. Kids six and under are free!

beer in a glass viewed from aboveAnd if adults dress the part in Bavarian attire, you can get free beer – check the event website for details.

On both days, there will be activities such as a yodeling contest, beer obstacle course for the adults, best dressed contest for both humans and dogs, and definitely awards for the best beer. You may even see one of our team members as a judge for the beer contest!

Follow along on all of the event’s social media platforms for details, updates, and fantastic pictures. Come enjoy the first annual Triangle Oktoberfest!

Relocating to Cary?

Koka Booth Amphitheatre is a popular location for Cary’s best events, including the patriotic July 4th celebration, movie screenings, and now the Triangle Oktoberfest.

If you’re relocating to Cary, come out to this great event to see what life is like in this community. Feel free to browse our website to find information and homes for sale in Cary, and talk to us today by calling 919-235-0007 or emailing if you want to schedule a showing.

Raleigh’s “Secret” Housing Market

The Property Listings Triangle Area Home Buyers Do Not Know Exist

Magnifying glass on Google logoMany home buyers believe that they can find anything on the Internet, and that if it’s on the ‘net, it must be true.

But about 40% of homes — nearly half —sold in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) area never appear online.

And besides, many of the properties listed on Zillow and other national sites were in fact sold months ago. National real estate websites are concerned with selling advertising, not about helping home sellers find their dream home.

When it comes to searching for your dream home in Raleigh, relying on national sites like Zillow and Trulia is not enough. In fact, you are missing out on a huge portion of available homes and may be viewing homes that are already sold.

How Do Homes Vanish on Zillow?

Let’s first go through the process of listing a home.

Homes Enter the MLS

When a Realtor lists a property for sale, the home enters a private local database called the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. All of the data in the MLS is owned by the local Realtor Association, which is in charge of releasing home data.

Sellers Share Home Data with Zillow

MLS exchanges the active listing inventory with approved real estate firms and Realtors’ personal websites. Here’s where Zillow comes in: A home seller and listing firm can agree to share the data on approved national websites through a process called syndication.

Property Information Breaks Down

But when national sites like Zillow get local real estate data, the information “break downs,” leading to misinformation in the home listings, such as:

  • inaccurate online home values
  • wrong listing agent
  • incorrect contact information

Think of it like a game of telephone. The original message changes every time someone passes it along the line.

This is why new listings are delayed for days or weeks before being posted and sold properties are not updated quickly (if at all).

National re-syndicated sites like Zillow are often the first resources for home buyers, but they should be the last.

Serious Triangle Homebuyers Shop Locally

Person using computer and phone for online searchIf any home in our local real estate market makes its way onto national real estate websites, it’s a second-hand listing. Right now, 25% of the homes that are for sale in our Wake County area never show up on Zillow or Trulia — not at all.

If you’re a Triangle area home buyer and you’re shopping on the national websites for the perfect home, you are missing out on 1 out of every 4 homes for sale, and a lot of the homes you are seeing already have new owners.

Buy Local with Linda Craft & Team

Top-producing real estate teams can deliver home buying resources that can help you find your dream home among Raleigh’s “underground” real estate market, including:

  • new home listings
  • “coming soon” inventory
  • networking connections with other Realtors
  • thousands of off-market homes on MLS

If you want accurate, real-time information on homes for sale, shop locally with Linda Craft & Team. Call or click today to see the other 40% of the real estate market that many Triangle area home buyers do not know exists.

Raleigh Area Experts : Food Truck Rodeo

food truck rodeo logo   Food Truck Rodeo

Downtown Raleigh

There will be several Food Truck Rodeos taking place this summer in downtown Raleigh. The next one will be on Sunday, June 14th. It will have over 50 Food Truck Options from across the state with every imaginable taste! If you’re looking for ice cream, bacon, burritos, kabobs, waffles, grilled cheese, or lobster you will find it all in one place.

Location and Details

It will be held in downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street from 1pm to 6pm on Sunday, June 14th.  It covers 1/2 mile and is spread out over 11 city blocks. Admission is free and it’s a great event for families.

Social Media Links

You can get live updates via their social media sites through their Facebook page and Twitter feed.


Linda Craft & Team is a locally owned real estate company where every dollar earned proudly stays in the community. Our Team is celebrating its’ 30th Anniversary and leading the Triangle in 2014 as the #1 Team for previously owned homes SOLD! We would love to help you too! Please call our office today to set up a free consultation with one of our expert team members.

Don’t Wait to Sell Your Wake County Home!

If you are thinking about selling your Raleigh area home, now is the best time to do it.

Increasing bar and line graph for increasing home buyer demandThe available homes for sale in Wake County are well below historic norms, and buyer demand for homes is skyrocketing. As a potential Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area home seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. In this type of market, you as the home seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to home price, home inspection, appraisal, financing contingencies and other aspects of the real estate transaction.

The best time to sell a home is when the supply is low and the demand is high, as it is now. We have not seen this type of sellers market in the Wake County area since 2006. Turn on the news and you will hear everyone talking about a housing shortage.

How Long Will the Triangle Real Estate Market Favor Home Sellers?

Two years, perhaps less.

Construction on new homes is kicking into high gear. Once these new homes are built and ready for buyers, the resale market of previously owned homes will take a back seat and the opportunity will stall. Days on the market will increase for sellers, and home prices will flatten out.

We expect to feel the effects about a year from now.

Take Advantage of the Home Sellers’ Market Now

Consider whether your Raleigh, Cary, or Durham housing needs will change in the next 12 to 24 months. Are children moving out to attend college? Are you retiring or relocating to a new area? Are you just ready for a new home?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider selling your home now rather than waiting a year or more. Don’t let this prime opportunity in the Triangle real estate market pass you by!

Sell Your Home with Linda Craft & Team

Our real estate team monitors the market changes carefully in order to advise our clients correctly. If you are thinking about selling your Raleigh area home, contact Linda Craft & Team. We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and market analysis. If you’re relocating, we can give you a Realtor referral to connect you with an expert in your destination area who can help you find your new home.

Until next time,


Raleigh Experts : La Farm Bakery

lafarmLa Farm Bakery is only 30 minutes away from the Linda Craft & Team office in North Raleigh. It’s located in Northwest Cary and has earned much news coverage due to the elegant food, their growth, and their amazing master baker, Lionel Vatinet. He opened La Farm in 1999 and has a passion for preserving the art & science of making bread. Meet Master Baker Lionel here and learn more about his history for fantastic food.

When you think of “French bakery” you may automatically think of a croissant, cheese, and a quaint atmosphere. Multiply your initial senses by 100 and you might come close to the reality of this restaurant! If you’ve never been, please finish this blog post and click the links to learn more – and then drive over there immediately! In addition to having a bakery full of regular and seasonal options, they have a breakfast, lunch, AND dinner menu in order to provide a full service dining experience. If you’re having a party at your home or office, La Farm caters and provide a stunning set up that would impress even the most seasoned “foodies”. La Farm can also be found at the NC Farmers Market by the floral section! Get there early and grab a white chocolate baguette (our personal favorite) before they sell out!

And finally, if you’ve ever thought of yourself as a baker – or would like to! – you can take cooking classes directly from Lionel himself at La Farm.  He brings a wealth of expertise to the Triangle and can surely teach anyone with his expert tips and tricks. These classes are only offered a few times a year, so make sure you take advantage of them when they come around.

Linda Craft & Team is your area Raleigh expert! We know our city and we know real estate! For your home buying and home selling needs, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS is your Triangle area expert. Call us today for a free consultation today! 919.235.0007  





Young Buyers Returning to the US Housing Market En Masse

Home Buying 6A key factor in the housing market recovery is returning to the national market en masse, much to the elation of housing market analysts.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, more and more first-time home buyers are entering the market because they feel more confident about the economic recovery.

Faster economic growth and a labor market that’s approaching “full employment” (according to the Federal Reserve) are aiding in that rise in confidence among first-time home buyers.

Even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, this news is sure to benefit anyone who is navigating the national housing market right now.

Fannie Mae Economist Makes Positive Predictions for 2015

Douglas Duncan, a chief economist at Fannie Mae in Washington, made the following predictions about the year ahead:

  • There will be a 6.3 percent increase in mortgage lending for purchases this year.
  • This increase follows a 9.6 percent decrease in 2014.
  • Increasing confidence in the job market is the strongest indication that home sales will improve.

Thomas Reuters Consumer Sentiment Poll Reflects Similar Optimism

Recently Thomas Reuters partnered with the University of Michigan for a consumer sentiment poll and this is what they found:

  • Consumers expect an increase of 1.7 percent in their incomes in 2015, the highest since 2008.
  • Those under 45 years old expect the biggest gain at 4.7 percent.

More Encouraging Factors From The National Economy

Meanwhile, economic growth (bolstered by consumer spending as well as business investment) is increasing. In fact, the Commerce Department reported that the US grew by 5 percent in the third quarter, which is the fastest since 2003.

The Fed said it expects the economy will expand between 2.6 percent and 3 percent in 2015, up from 2.3 percent to 2.4 percent in 2014.

Plus, the economy added more than 2.7 million jobs in 2014, which is the most since 1999, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And the jobless rate will average 5.2 to 5.3 percent, which is at the level last seen before the financial crisis.

All of this job growth and creation means that the median household income in 2014 increased 1.6 percent to $53,880 through November. Experts say that rate should increase through 2015.

Which Brings Us Back to the First-Time Home Buyer

All of this growth and prosperity is driving young home buyers to the market. As they enter the market, more homes will change ownership, freeing up existing home owners to buy bigger and better homes.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You need a regular stream of first-time home buyers to aid in the growth of any housing market. Thus, we’re thrilled that more and more first-time home buyers are coming back to the market.

Your #1 Resource for Real Estate News

We hope you found today’s news on first-time home buyers as encouraging as we did!

Check back here soon for more valuable information on the current state of the housing market and how it may impact you as a buyer or seller.

Why For Sale By Owner is a Bad Idea

untitledKCM recently sent out a great article on why homeowners should avoid selling their own homes. For Sale By Owner is not as easy as it sounds. Read below for more great information!

Some Raleigh homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). We think there are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of Triangle sellers.

Here are five of our reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to FSBO.

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an extensive internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3.  Actual Results also come from the Internet

Where do Raleigh area buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many Wake County homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the same commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $184,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $230,000.   This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $46,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Article courtesy of KCM Blog.


Are you a Raleigh area homeowner thinking about selling on your own? Call us for a free consultation with obligation. We want what is best for you and are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS today!

Triangle Home Buying Series: The 6 Phases of Buyer’s Remorse, Phase 1

Here is the first installation of “Buyer’s Remorse” blog series. Each week we will go into depth on our list of expert tips on how to navigate buyers remorse in the home buying process. Every home buyer will experience “buyer’s remorse” several times on their way to realizing that dream. This blog will help Triangle area home buyers understand what’s happening to them and how to move through Buyer’s Remorse.

  1. Before or Soon After you write an offer – You have looked at houses and there is one that really stands out amongst all the others.   You have been pre-qualified for a mortgage and know you can afford the future payment.  The home has everything on your must-have list and more.  It’s time to make a decision.  Are you going to make an offer or will your fear paralyze you?   Believe it or not, Buyer’s Remorse can begin prematurely from the stress of thinking about making a decision.  An acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and you know this is true if you feel panic and you haven’t even bought anything yet!  Buyer’s Remorse is fear of making a mistake.  Sometimes that fear is so strong you will either not make an offer at all or you will make an offer and when the expected counter offer is shared you run away.  The emotion of fear is so powerful that it can keep you from the joy and happiness of living the American Dream of homeownership.  Fear influences behavior more than any other human emotion.  Are you going to fight or flight?  Do you move forward with an offer or do you stall with words such as; “let us sleep on it, or give us a few days”.  Are question running though you mind like; “are you acting too quickly or is there something better out there if you wait longer”?   People who standstill in this state usually lose that house to another buyer and have to start their search all over.  The sad thing about not fighting through the fear is the new search my take a long time, interest rates could go up and you will compare everything to the house you lost.


TIP:  Remind yourself how many houses you looked at on the Internet and in person to find the one you can see yourself living in.  Check your wish list again to make sure it’s the right house; understand that most people move every 3 to 5 years.  This is not forever.  Most importantly remember that you will continue to feel the same way with each and every house unless you push through and do it afraid.

Six Most Common Times to Expect Buyer’s Remorse

  1. After You Write An Offer
  2. After the Offer is Accepted
  3. After the Home Inspection
  4. The Final Walk Through
  5. After You Write the Final Check for Closing Day
  6. After You Move in to Your New Triangle Home

Come back next week to learn more on how to overcome buyer’s remorse after your offer is accepted on your Raleigh home!

Linda Craft & Team is here to walk you through the steps to home ownership. For a free home buying consultation, please call our office today at 919.235.0007. We look forward to helping you!