Moving to Raleigh, Cary or the Triangle with Children?

This week my real estate office has been very busy with several out of state families who are relocating to our Greater Raleigh area.  One of the neat things about having a large real estate team is that  we all work together sharing our knowledge and experience to best meet the needs of our clients.  When families relocate to the Triangle sometimes their needs are more complexed than just which Raleigh area home or neighborhood they want to live in. They need to know where to find the best doctors, playgrounds and daycare options just to name a few.    Many of our Team members have children and have relocated themselves so they are a great resource for families. We know that Moms and Dads have so many things to take care of in a move and my Team loves to all pitch in to help relocating families in their transition . Happy couple with a kid in their new home Here are some tips you may want to know or share with someone relocating with children.

A Few Quick Moving Tips For Raleigh Area Families:  Continue reading “Moving to Raleigh, Cary or the Triangle with Children?”

What is up with Raleigh Real Estate?

Over the last several months many people have asked me if home sales have been picking up for the Raleigh real estate market.   While we have seen an increase in appointments scheduled to view our current inventory of  Triangle area homes for sale, we have not seen them turn into equal sales.  Home sales around the Raleigh region are still very sluggish and the luxury market  has been hit the hardest.  what is up

The Biggest Real Estate Problem We Have in the Raleigh Region

is that we are not seeing many move up buyers. This is causing many sellers to compete for a sold sign and has driven home prices down. The listing inventory of homes for sale is still high and many sellers have reduced their home prices several times and still are not sold. The average home list price to sales price is  96% if sold in the first 30 days and 89% if price reductions occur. With declining home values, low interest rates and tax credits you would think real estate here in the Greater Raleigh area would be booming but, it isn’t. Everyone is busy showing a lot of houses but, the truth is Triangle real estate home sales are still lower in 2009 than they were in 2008.  

Let’s Look At Some Contributing Housing Market Factors

1.  First Time Home Buyer and Tax Credit   Continue reading “What is up with Raleigh Real Estate?”

Top Raleigh Real Estate Team Shares Their Tried and True Time Savers

Need Ways to Save Time?

My team meets every Tuesday to keep our skills sharp in this ever changing Raleigh real estate market. Each department gives an update on  current business, we discuss new listings coming to the market, what our current home buyers are looking for, and then we train on different topics.  Sometimes the topics are new rules and form changes from the Real Estate Commission. Other training topics are economic, mortgage and appraisal issues affecting the Raleigh, Cary and Triangle market. Last week we focused on practical applications that can help us be more efficient by managing our time better. Each Team member started with making a list of the  5 worst time wasters and their 5 best time saving ideas.  I thought I would share some of our team’s top tips with you:

The Linda Craft & Team’s Top Time Saver Tips:

  1. If you are working on a project or in an appointment let incoming calls go to voicemail until you complete the task.  This will help you stay focused and be proactive instead of reactive.
  2. Check Voice Mail at regular times during the day, not after every call. It takes time to dial into voice mail so pick up several messages with one call.
  3. Follow a schedule and stick to it. Everything is important but, very few things are urgent.  Plan your day the night before and protect your schedule.
  4. Text Someone verses Calling Them.  This can save up to five minutes of idle conversation and alot of voice mail tag.
  5. Make your coffee the night before and schedule it to brew the next morning when you get up.
  6. Use a Free Dry Cleaners Pick Up Service.   This will save you alot of time driving around town or standing in line.
  7. Use a Grocery Shopping Service.   Shop Online and schedule your groceries to be brought to your car in the store parking lot for a cheap as $5.95 a trip. It also protects you from impulse buying.
  8. Clean out your inbox daily by one of these three actions; delte, file or answer and delete.
  9. Schedule your shampoo and hair cuts first thing in the morning so you are not doing your hair twice in one day.
  10. Close Your Office Door and Concentrate.  People popping in with Chit Chat can waste 1/3 of your day.

Do you have more tips you can share with us?   We would love to hear from you.

I hope that you have a great Monday-

Linda

Affordable Raleigh Homes

Map of Raleigh, NCRaleigh, North Carolina is always ranked in the top 10 best places in the USA for work and play. Many people believe with such high accalades that a great home in Raleigh must come with a huge price tag. Well, I have good news for you…Raleigh real estate is very affordable.  

Check out this Raleigh Real Estate Market Data :

April 2009 T.A.R.R. Report

Average detached resale Raleigh home price $263,310

Average new construction Raleigh home price $281,935

Average Raleigh condo price $168,961

Average Raleigh town home price $179,018

To view every home for sale in Raleigh, including Raleigh new construction and surrounding cities such as; Cary, Apex, Morrisville, RTP Research Triangle Park, Chapel Hill, Durham, Wake Forest and others visit: LindaCraft.com

Raleigh real estate is affordable!

Raleigh Home Mortgage Rates Are Going Up

Mortgate Rates are RisingPeople who have been waiting to buy real estate in Raleigh are going to be house poor if they don’t act fast. Raleigh home mortgage interest rates went up three times in just one day this week. A Raleigh home that you could have purchased a little over 48 hours ago at 4.75% is now 5.25%. A real estate purchase in Raleigh will end up costing you 10% more for your Raleigh home mortgage if rates increase 1%. Buy now or buy less later!

There has never been a better time to buy a home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Housing inventory is plentiful, $8,000 tax credit is still available to qualified first time home buyers, foreclosures, short sales, new construction  and motivated sellers make up the Raleigh real estate market. Any home mortgage interest rate  below 6% is considered a great interest rate. If you are a home buyer sitting on the fence, now is the time to move on a new Raleigh home before your opportunity is lost.

If you are wondering how much house can you afford then check out our mortgage calulator and pre-qualification section.   Our mortgage lenders also offer many specialized programs to ensure that you are finding the best rate and mortgage for your needs.

If you have any questions about home buying please contact me.

Have a great weekend.

Linda

Raleigh Real Estate is a Great Investment

What were the general principles we all learned in long term investing? Buy low, sell high, diversify, have an emergency savings and remember the long in long-term investing.  An artificial bubble was created by removing all barriers to owning a Raleigh home. If you were breathing you could get a Raleigh home mortgage and interest rates were historically low.  The buy button was pushed and the rush to riches through real estate investing came to an end because bubbles eventually burst. The bubble was never meant to be permanent but, now that it has burst many people are afraid to invest in a Raleigh home purchase. The Raleigh real estate bursting bubble has left you with one of the best Raleigh home buyer markets in all of history.

The ups and downs of Raleigh Real Estate Investing

Every investment has ups and downs but, over time owning a Raleigh home is a safe and prudent place to invest your money. Where else can you get a tax deduction, a place of YOUR OWN to express your pride of Raleigh home ownership and earn these kind of percentages on your investment?

National Home Appreciation Data

1970 – 1979 = 142% appreciation

1980 – 1989 = 52% appreciation

1990 – 1999 = 45% appreciation

2000 – 2008 = 42% appreciation

Data taken from RISMedia March 2009

Check out my daily best buy list at lindacraft.com

To learn about $8,000 tax credit click here.

Have a great day-

Linda

Raleigh, NC Ranked #1 on Forbes List

Good news for all of us who live and love Raleigh, NC. Forbes.com ranked Raleigh #1 March 25th, 2009, as the best place for business and careers. Durham ranked #3.

With wonderful publicity such as this, PLUS  UNC and Carolina Hurricanes both in the play offs for championships the Raleigh real estate market is getting a nice media boost.

As predicted the Raleigh real estate market is bouncing back faster than other areas around the country. Sales in all price ranges have increased. I have had multiple offers on several properties and other Raleigh REALTORS have reported this as well.

Raleigh declared one of the top places to live by Forbes.com

Many people are still waiting and trying to time the Raleigh Real Estate bottom. In the lower price points $300,000 and below, those that are waiting have missed it.

Inflation will drive up interest rates so if owning a piece of Raleigh real estate is in your future I would take action now. Rates are low today and Raleigh home prices are stabilizing and on the rise in some areas.

Please don’t be one of the people who look back 2 years from now with regret that you didn’t buy a Raleigh home or investment property when you had this incredible opportunity. It is really a great time to buy.

If you or any of your friends, families or co-workers have have questions about the the current Raleigh homes market, I am available by email or at (919) 235.0007.

Have a great day-

Linda

Should Buyers Buy in a Buyers Market?

Interest rates are below 5%, there is a surplus of housing which gives buyers unbelivable choices, sellers are motivated to sell and are pricing realistically and are still negotiating even lower than list price…Sounds like a fabulous buyers market to me and buyers should buy. Right? But, here it is January 2009 and buyers who really want to get a great house at an affordable price could do so right now and they are parralized by fear and waiting. Waiting for what?

When you ask them why they are waiting, they will say because they don’t want to pay too much. As a Raleigh residential real estate broker for 24 years it amazes me that in a sellers market where there are very few homes to chose from and buyers frequently settle for less, while paying top dollar because many buyers are in bidding wars and pay above asking price to get a home—buyers buy. They buy fast when prices are high and wait when prices are low? Fear causes them to pay too much in a sellers market and is now causing them to miss out on a great buy in a buyers market. Why do buyers buy in a sellers market when the prices are the highest and they will not buy in a buyers market when the prices have dropped and interest rates too. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Safety for Raleigh Home Owners

Today I heard that WRAL- Channel 5 -would be featuring a story on the potential danger home owners face when allowing strangers into their home when they are selling it themselves.   As Agents we take this matter very seriously.   Some of you may remember several years ago when a real estate agent in the Fayetteville area was shot and killed when showing someone a vacant home.   The North Carolina Real Estate Commission published a booklet for agents on safety and what people should and should not do when meeting strangers for the first time.   Our local Board of REALTORS and Triangle MLS requires all agents to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will keep all lock box codes, security alarm passwords and such matters confidential.  The fine for sharing any of this information with a non-agent can be as high as $1,500.   This is a very serious issues and I urge you to take as many precautions as you can before you open your home to strangers, including service providers and lawn care professionals.  Make sure that you know their true identity and ask for proof of driver’s license, business license, etc.  What ever may apply to help keep you and your family from danger.  

 Here are a few good tips to use:

Write down the color, make, model and license number of the car the person arrived in.

Tell someone you trust who are meeting, what time they will be at your house, what time they should leave.  Have them call you at a certain time to make sure you are ok.

Keep your cell phone in your pocket, not in a different room

Trust your instincts.  You have them for a reason

 Dress for safety- do not wear expensive jewelry

 Keep your valuables out of site- your laptop is included in this too.

For more information on how to protect yourself contact the Raleigh Police Department or an agency that offers self protection classes.

 Have a great day-

Linda

Raleigh Has A Growing Number of Homes in Foreclosure

Every day I watch and the number of new listings, price reductions and failed listing in the Raleigh real estate market. It is very concerning to me as I see our historically safe real estate market falling and our personal equity investment decreasing. Although Raleigh home prices have not fallen to the extent other areas have, we too have been touched by the forces in this economy.

The past two years have real estate values flat for some Raleigh homes and declining for others. One factor that has caused a decline in property values is the increasing number of Raleigh home foreclosures. We have a second wave of foreclosures postured for early 2009.

Many ask; “how long will it take for Raleigh home prices to return to the highs of 2005 and 2006”? Some believe a year, others think three to five. One thing I know for sure is it will not be this spring.

The mortgage crisis that started with subprime has become an economic snowball that is rolling down hill fast. Housing controls 40% of our economies fuel. Which means it’s no longer just the housing market that is struggling, every business has been affected. Unemployment is growing and people in all price ranges and in every walk of life is losing their homes to foreclosure.

If you know of anyone struggling to make their mortgage payments please have them contact me or any other REALTOR with a CDPE designation. There is help available but, in people in that situation do not know where to turn. Foreclosure and the terrible negative effect it will have for years and years can be avoided. A foreclosure on a credit report has the absolute worst consequences. It will affect their ability to rent a home, buy a car, get student loans for the children’s education and may even keep them from getting a job.

Every person that is saved from foreclosure helps Raleigh homes prices stabilize faster. If we can reduce foreclosures we will protect our own property values and the equity we all need for our future while helping someone else have a future too.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the office- (919) 235-0007.

Linda