How to Make Your Raleigh Home Sale “Spark Joy”

Ask any homeowner what the most challenging part of selling a home is, and they’ll likely respond: decluttering.

Decluttering is a huge endeavor. It takes time, patience, good judgment, and stellar organizational skills. It also requires follow-through. Decluttering does you no good if your clutter sits in trash bags by the front door waiting to be donated.

Luckily, there’s a new and trendy way to declutter your home. It’s called the KonMari Method, and it’s changing lives!

Meet Marie Kondo

Small white table with a journal and two potted plants on top.The woman behind the KonMari method is a Japanese consultant and writer named Marie Kondo. Author of the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up that inspired a new Netflix show, Marie has some amazing tips for, well, tidying up.

Her philosophy is simple: “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”

Both her Netflix show and book are full of amazing tips for decluttering your home. If you’re getting ready to sell your home in Raleigh, we highly recommend checking them out!

The KonMari Method

Small bar cart with glasses of water and a plant on the top in a white hallway.Sort your possessions into categories, and start from there. Instead of going room by room, eliminate your clutter by category. Start with your clothes.

Pick up an item of clothing and take a long hard look at it. Does it spark joy? Does it make you feel happy, or remind you of a wonderful memory?

For the less sentimental of us, here’s an alternative way to look at it: when’s the last time you wore this? Try it on now: does wearing it make you happy? I you answered “no” to any of the previous questions, it’s time to get rid of it!

Marie Kondo advises us to “thank the item for its service, then let it go.”

Tidy Up Your Home Sale

Clean and bright kitchen.Marie Kondo’s method is time-consuming, but effective. Not only that, you’ll end the process feeling good about all of your belongings.

You’re increasing the amount of space in your home, decreasing your belongings, and making your upcoming home sale and relocation easier.

Now that’s something you should feel good about!

Sell Your Home for More in Raleigh

When you’re selling your home, first impressions are key! That’s why staging your home for the Raleigh market is essential. And, you can’t begin staging until your home is thoroughly decluttered.

By using the KonMari method, you’re ensuring that your new home will be filled only with items that spark joy.

If you’re ready to list your Raleigh home, please give us a call at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®. We would love to utilize our area resources to help achieve a home sale that sparks joy in you!

Guess What? You Do Not Need a 20% Down Payment to Buy a Home in Raleigh!

Many people believe that they can’t afford to buy a home because they can’t afford the down payment. Time and time again, I hear would-be homebuyers resign themselves to a life of renting because a 20% down payment just isn’t feasible.

However, this is one of the biggest myths of buying a home! The truth is, you do not need to put down 20% to buy a home. There are plenty of options for buying a home without a hefty down payment!

What You Need to Know

According to a recent study called “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” 39% of non-homeowners and 30% of those who already own a home think that they need more than a 20% down payment.

But that just isn’t true. In fact, there are a number of loans available that don’t require a down payment at all or require a very small one.

Did you know that the median down payment on loans approved in 2018 was only 5%? If you’ve spent the last couple of years saving up for your down payment, chances are you already have enough saved to buy now!

The Lowest Down Payment Loans Out There

A family of three holding a pink piggybank with coins spilling out.Here are three loans that offer low to zero down payments. There are certain eligibility requirements for each, but don’t feel discouraged if they won’t work for you! Please give us a call at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®!

Chances are, we know of the perfect solution to fit your unique situation in the Raleigh real estate market.

VA Loan

It’s no secret that the VA loan is one of the best mortgage loans out there. It is available to qualified veterans, active-duty service members, certain spouses, and other specific members of the National Guard and Reserves.

The VA loan features a 0% down payment and does not require mortgage insurance. It is offered through a local lender, but guaranteed by the government. The borrower does have to pay a funding fee (anywhere from 1.25 to 3.3%) that can be included in the total loan amount.

USDA Loan

Attractive kitchen with hardwood floors, marble countertops, and hanging light fixture.This loan is available for certain eligible buyers. It has restrictions based on household income, as well as certain credit and employment requirements.

It is designed for people looking to buy a single-family residence in a suburban or rural area. The USDA has maps with specific eligibility information, so you can easily see if your property is eligible!

The USDA loan is one of the most popular loans available, and it isn’t uncommon for the total fund to run out before the end of the fiscal year. If you’re interested in using a USDA loan to buy a home in the North Carolina Triangle, check your eligibility requirements and then give us a call!

Federal Housing Administration

The FHA loan requires a minimum down payment of 3.5% and is a great option for would-be buyers that have a low credit score or history of poor credit.

While it charges a low down payment, it does require the borrower to purchase mortgage insurance upfront with a premium of about 1.75% of the total mortgage amount.

Your Dreams of Homeownership are Within Reach!

We know you can do it! Please know that you have plenty of options when it comes to buying a home in Raleigh or another popular Triangle community.

When you choose to work with Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, you’re enlisting the help of the Triangle’s #1 real estate team. We have the resources and experience to help you buy the home of your dreams. No 20% down payment necessary!

Ready to begin exploring your home buying options? Please reach out to us today!

 

How Going “FSBO” Costs You More Money in the Long Run

If you’re selling your Raleigh home, chances are you’re trying to maximize your profits. It’s normal for homeowners to look for ways to sell their home for the most amount of money possible, while limiting all of their costs.

However, time and time again, I see new sellers opting to list their home as “FSBO” in order to save a few dollars. Listing your home as “FSBO” means going “For Sale By Owner,” or choosing to sell your home without hiring a real estate agent.

While listing as “FSBO” means not having to pay an agent’s commission, it has a lot of hidden costs and pitfalls and will actually cost you more money in the long run!

An Agent is a Professional in the Real Estate Industry

A professional reviewing graphs.Did you know that a home sold with an agent typically nets 6% more than one sold as “FSBO”?

That’s because an agent knows the real estate market really well—it’s their job after all! They’re an expert in their field, which means they know all the tips and tricks for selling homes.

In addition, it’s their job to stay on top of market trends, housing inventory, and sales prices. An agent knows how to price your home for the market you’re selling in.

Sure, you could rely on an automatic home value estimator to price your home, but those services are famous for being highly inaccurate.

All the “Hidden Work” Agents Do

If you’re choosing to sell your home without an agent, be prepared for a lot of work. After all, when you work with an agent to sell your home, you have them by your side to negotiate on your behalf.

As you sell your home, you’ll probably have to negotiate with:

  • The Buyer
  • The Buyer’s Agent
  • The Buyer’s Bank
  • The Appraiser
  • The Inspection Company
  • The Title Company

And an agent’s work doesn’t stop there! Your real estate agent is your guide to the world of real estate. They’ll be able to provide you with home-selling resources, advice on how to stage your home, an effective marketing strategy, and emotional support during a busy time.

Agents Know How to Reach Buyers

Two people sitting side by side on a couch, one is one a computer and the other is on a tablet.More than 50% of buyers find their home on the Internet. As such, if you’re going to sell your home you need to have a thorough online presence for your home.

A professional real estate agent is more likely to have a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy, as well as a top-tier website where buyers can search for homes.

Selling Your Raleigh Home? Let’s Talk

Here at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we want you to make the most amount of money possible when you sell your home. That’s why we offer an array of complimentary home-selling resources, and a specialized marketing plan designed to give your property maximum exposure.

Don’t just take our word for it! Check out our home-selling track record, and see what our clients have to say. There’s a reason we’re the Triangle’s #1 real estate team: we sell homes quickly and for more money, and we’ll help you achieve all of your real estate goals.

Interested in learning more? Give us a call today to get started.

The Pros & Cons of a Buyer’s Letter: Standing Out in a Busy Market

Imagine, after weeks of searching, that you’ve finally found your dream home. It’s in the perfect location with the right features and exactly the amount of space you need. But after requesting more information, your agent informs you that there are already several offers made on the house. How do you stand out in a busy market and snag your dream home?

When buyers are looking to make a lasting impression on sellers, they often opt to submit a letter to the seller. In fact, a recent study found that buyers who submitted letters were 9% more likely to have their offer accepted.

A Buyer’s Letter can work both with you and against you, so it’s important to understand what they are and when you should use one.

What is a Buyer’s Letter?

A man typing on a laptopA Buyer’s Letter is pretty much what it sounds like — a letter written by the buyer for the seller in order to stand out in a busy market. The letter is your chance to make a case for why you should get the home over other buyers.

Many people opt to write about how they envision their lives in the home, how well they would take care of it, how much owning this specific home would mean to them, and similar sentiments.

You might also use this space to talk yourself up, bringing up steady finances, your down payment, and job security — things geared towards making the seller confident in choosing you.

Advantages of a Buyer’s Letter

A man and a woman shaking handsA Buyer’s Letter sets you apart from the crowd and makes you more than just an offer on a sheet of paper — it allows you to connect with the seller on a personal level. In a constantly growing and changing market, being able to stand out or connect puts you a big step ahead of other buyers.

Is the home close to a golf course? Does the seller have bikes in their garage? Are there signs of pets in the home? If you notice you have common interests, including them in the Buyer’s Letter can elevate your standing.

When you choose to forgo a Buyer’s Letter, you miss out on the chance to advocate for yourself, which can go a long way in the seller’s final decision.

Disadvantages of a Buyer’s Letter

A woman writing in a notebook. While there are plenty of pros to using a Buyer’s Letter, there are also pitfalls to consider. Making your case is great, but it does give the seller leverage. If you really love the house as much as you say, then what’s to stop the seller from raising the asking price?

Maybe the seller accepts your offer, and you move to the home inspection stage. If issues turn up, then the seller might refuse to make costly repairs, assuming that you’ll buy the house no matter what.

Another unexpected con of a buyer’s letter? It can be tricky for sellers to navigate around discrimination issues. If a seller picks a buyer of a certain race, religion, gender, or family status instead of another, they could face backlash. Be aware of this when writing your letter so as to not put the seller in an uncomfortable position.

Need Help Standing Out?

If you’re kicking off the home-buying process and need help standing out, we’ve got you covered. When you work with Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, you’re enlisting the help of the Triangle’s #1 real estate team. We know exactly how to help you purchase the home of your dreams.

Get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you secure your dream home, and answer any and all of your questions in the process.

When’s the Best Time to List Your Home? NOW!

If selling your home is at the top of your New Years Resolutions, then it’s time to get started. Although the market is thought to “slow down” during the cold winter months, that doesn’t mean it’s not an advantageous time to sell your home.

In fact, now is the best time to sell your Raleigh home! Want to know why? Because homes are highly in demand, and inventory is at an all time low.

It’s a Seller’s Market

A luxurious outdoor pool with two red lounge charis.While the number of buyers has decreased over the past few months, inventory has been at an all-time low since November of 2018. Truthfully, there just isn’t enough inventory to satisfy what buyer demand there is.

For the last five months, the number of homes for sale has decreased substantially.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of homes for sale in the country decreased by about 190,000 from June to November of last year. While demand for homes has decreased slightly over the years, it still far exceeds the current inventory available.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Two professionals reaching across a table to shake each others hand.Now is the time to sell your home! Across the board, the best time to sell your home is when there’s less competition. In a market as competitive as the Triangle, where motivated buyers far outweigh current sellers, now is an incredible time to sell your home!

Selling your home during a “seller’s market” typically guarantees you a better price for your home, fewer hassles in the transaction, and a stress-free selling experience.

Ready to Sell Your Raleigh Home?

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® are ready to help. We offer a number of different home-selling programs, designed to meet your unique needs as a seller.

Want to receive an instant offer on your Raleigh home? We can help with that, too. You can also research the market, see what homes are selling for in your neighborhood, and get specific home staging tips to make your home sell even faster.

Market Update: Are Low Interest Rates Going to Stick Around?

If you’ve been eyeing the Triangle real estate market for a while, you’ve probably noticed interest rates rising in 2018. As we enter the first quarter of the new year, it’s important to stay on top of changing mortgage interest rates.

Right now, interest rates for mortgages in the United States are on a downward trend. As 2019 began, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to just 4.51%. In addition, the growth of home prices are expected to slow.

So, what does it all mean?

It’s a Great Time to Buy a Home in Raleigh

A couple receiving the keys to their new home.If interest rates remain low, now is a wonderful time to apply for a mortgage and buy a home in Raleigh! As interest rates increased in 2018, many homebuyers decided to pause their search for a new home.

But, if you’re in the Raleigh real estate market, now is the time to pick the search back up! As we continue through 2019, the inventory of homes for sale in Raleigh is expected to pick back up, while interest rates are expected to grow slowly from 4.77 to about 4.93 by the end of the year.

How Much Will Interest Rates Increase in 2019?

A man and a woman meeting with a bank lender.Organizations like the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, and the National Association of Realtors project that interest rates will increase in 2019. However, they will not increase as rapidly or dramatically as they did in 2018.

The bottom line: if you’ve been hesitating on buying a home in Raleigh, it’s time to dive into the real estate market. Low interest rates, a growing inventory, and the slow growth of home prices have created ideal conditions for home buyers in Raleigh!

Ready to Find the Perfect Home in Raleigh?

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® are here to help. With a combined 30 years of real estate experience in the Triangle, our team possesses the unique expertise necessary for making a highly successful home purchase.

We’re the #1 Triangle Real Estate Team for a reason. We offer customized services, in-depth real estate resources, and extensive real estate expertise to our Raleigh homebuyers. If you’re ready to expand your home search in Raleigh, then it’s time to give Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® a call.

List Your Home Today: The Advantage to Selling Your Home in Winter

Happy New Year! If selling your home is at the top of your resolutions list, then it’s time to get started. You don’t have to wait for warmer weather for a successful home sale. In fact, it may be a good decision to go ahead and sell your home right now!

There are many hidden benefits to selling your home in winter. Although the market has slowed down, that doesn’t mean buyer demand has! The weather cannot change the circumstances that motivate people to buy new homes, which makes every time of year great for selling your Triangle home.

Less Competition

Saleswoman presenting a new project property on digital tabletMany people believe that winter is a bad time to try and sell your home, which is why they wait until the spring or summer to list. However, the market tells us that housing inventory is low — meaning that there are not enough homes for sale in the market to satisfy buyers’ demand.

If you’ve gained substantial equity in your home over the years, it’s probably time to go ahead and list it!

Same Strong Demand

People often choose to buy a new home and move for a number of reasons that aren’t affected by the weather. Even in the winter, people accept new positions in different cities, need to downsize, or want to move closer to their loved ones.

The weather doesn’t stop them, and it shouldn’t stop you! Take advantage of the decreased inventory for a successful home sale.

A Faster Home Sale

Two professionals shaking hands.As a result of the decreased inventory, and steady demand, your home will probably sell quicker in the winter than it would in the summer! The Triangle market is competitive, no matter the time of year, so you can expect an interested buyer to act fast in putting an offer on your home.

If your goal is to sell your home before March, now is the time to act.

It’s Your Time to Move Up

If you want to sell your Triangle home in order to buy a premium or luxury home, now is the time to act! Luxury homes are in a market all their own, and the inventory for luxury homes in the Triangle continues to increase.

These conditions create a buyer’s market for luxury homes—meaning you can get a tremendous deal on a luxury home for sale in the Triangle!

Don’t Allow the Weather to Decide for You

Luxurious modern kitchen with white countertops.Why do you want to sell your home? Is it worth waiting until the weather decides to improve? Probably not!

Plus, the weather in the Triangle Region of North Carolina will continue to surprise us. In Raleigh this year, it was almost 70 degrees on the first day of the year! While the market may have slowed down a little, buyers are still just as motivated as they’ll be come spring.

Sell Your Triangle Home for Top Dollar

If you’re ready to list your home in the Triangle, then it’s time to contact Linda Craft & Team Realtors®. We have a proven track record in selling Triangle homes fast and for the most amount of money possible.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about your home-selling options in the Triangle.

Still Renting Your Home? There Are Better Options Available!

2018 is quickly drawing to a close, which means it’s time to start planning for the new year. If you’re still renting a home in the Triangle, please know that you have better options available!

Have you been dreaming of becoming a Triangle homeowner? You’re not alone! This is a wonderful area to invest in, and an ideal time to buy a home. Home values in the Triangle are expected to increase over the coming years. This makes now the time to act!

Take a look at our complimentary home-buying tools to get an idea of your options in the Triangle. Oftentimes, it’s less expensive to pay a mortgage every month than it is to keep up with annual rent increases, and all the other fees associated with leasing!

What Do You Dislike About Renting?

Young couple thinking and looking at a laptop computerAccording to a 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 75% of millennial renters plan on buying a home in the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy in the next 2 years!

Those surveyed were also asked what they disliked about renting. 52% said rising rental costs were their biggest reason. Other factors included “not building equity,” “feeling like I’m paying my landlord’s mortgage,” and “not being able to have pets.”

There’s plenty of merit to that concern, as the median asking rent has risen steadily every year since the 1980s.

Common Misconceptions About Buying a Home

Bright living room interior with huge windows.If you plan out your budget every month, you’ve probably heard of this rule “don’t spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing expenses.” Did you know that almost half of all renters surveyed in the Bank of America Report spend much more than that on their monthly rent?

When asked what was stopping them from buying a home, many responded that they “weren’t able to save the 20% down payment.”

However, this is one of the biggest misconceptions about buying a home! It is possible to buy a home without putting 20% down.

Ready to Explore Your Triangle Home Buying Options?

Allow our team of experienced Triangle real estate agents to guide you through the process. For more information about what kind of homes are available in the Triangle, and what your options are as a buyer, please get in touch.

As the #1 Real Estate Team in the Triangle, Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® are fully prepared to find you the home of your dreams and negotiate an excellent price on your behalf.

Homebuying Success: A Simple Way to Build Your Wealth For the Future

Did you know that, unless you’re living somewhere rent-free, you’re paying for a mortgage. If you own a home, you’re paying your own mortgage and building wealth over the long run. However, if you’re renting, you’re paying your landlord’s mortgage.

If you’re currently renting a home, but want to build wealth for you and your family, then it’s time to invest in your future by buying a home. Buying a home is equivalent to forcing yourself to save money every month, and it will increase your wealth over the long run.

By paying off your mortgage every month, you’re paying off your debt and building your own wealth. Once that mortgage is paid off, you own your home and you’ll be surprised by the many invaluable benefits this will bring to your financial situation.

The Benefits to Homeownership

Luxurious bedroom with white curtains.Once your home is paid off, you own a tremendous asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars: your home. In addition, paying your mortgage every month will increase your credit score and force you to save money (think of your home as your savings account). So, by paying off your mortgage you’re actually paying yourself.

Plus, when you buy a home in a market as competitive and ever-growing as the Triangle, your home’s value will increase over time. That means your wealth increases right along with it, even before you’ve finished paying off your home.

As you continue to pay off your home, you’re building something known as home equity. This is the percentage of your home that you actually own, and it grows every time you make a payment. Increased home equity means increased wealth… it’s just that simple.

The Market Continues to Improve

Happy couple looking at a computer screen and discussing their future.Now is a great time to become a homeowner, because housing prices are only continuing to increase across the country — but especially in the North Carolina Triangle. According to Pulsenomics, home values are expected to appreciate by an average of 3% every year.

You may be wondering “Linda, if home prices are going up, that means they’re getting more expensive. Isn’t it better to just continue renting?”

The answer is no! If you buy a home by the end of next month, you lock in your home for that price. While your monthly mortgage payments will reflect that price and that price alone, you’ll actually make money over the years as your home’s value appreciates. Here’s an example:

John and Mary buy a home in North Raleigh for $250,000 in January. Over the next 5 years, their home appreciates in value by 3% every year. At the end of that five-year period, John and Mary have built up nearly $40,000 in home equity. While they’re still paying for a $250,000 home, their home is actually worth almost $290,000!

That’s without any major repairs or renovations! They’ve made an additional $40,000 in forced savings by living in their home and paying their mortgage every month. If they ride out their entire mortgage period (let’s say, a 20-year term fixed interest mortgage), how much do you think their home will be worth when they’re done paying for it?

Build Your Wealth by Buying a Home in the Triangle

If you’re ready to expand your wealth by buying a Triangle home, then it’s time to contact Linda Craft & Team Realtors®. Our team has unsurpassed experience in the Triangle, ample home-buying resources, and a commitment to achieving your goals.

For a streamlined and successful home-buying experience, rely on Linda Craft & Team Realtors®.

LINDA CRAFT & TEAM REALTORS AND CRAFT COMMERCIAL INVITE YOU TO GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE

Who Says There is No Such Thing as a FREE Lunch

American Red Cross

At Linda Craft & Team Realtors and Craft Commercial, we’re extremely passionate about supporting local communities through organizations like the American Red Cross. We are pleased to host our Second Annual Blood Drive at our office on June 26th from 11am – 3:30pm.

During the summer months there is a decline in donations causing a significant shortage of the overall blood supply in our local hospitals. Our local Red Cross urgently needs people to give blood to help save lives.

  • If you would like to donate blood to support our local hospitals, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: Craft to schedule your life-saving appointment.
  • If you can’t attend, you can still help save lives by making a monetary donation, visit: redcross.org/lindacraft
  • THE DAY OF THE DRIVE you can save some time by doing your pre-reading and donation questions online at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass

EVERYONE WHO REGISTERS TO GIVE BLOOD WILL RECEIVE A FREE LUNCH FROM DADDY BOB’S BBQ FOOD TRUCK!!! (11:00am-2:30pm)

Daddy Bob's Food Truck

Please help us save lives by signing up today!

 

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS is a locally-owned, full-service Real Estate Company with over 30 years of experience and 2 billion dollars in home sales. Honors include: NC Women-owned Business Hall of Fame, Humanitarian Award, and the Carolina Hurricanes Corporate Real Estate partner since 2006. Our company mission and core values focus on Expert Market Knowledge coupled with Raving Fan Customer Service to ensure complete client satisfaction. For more information about Linda Craft & Team, Realtors, please call 919-235-0007 or visit www.lindacraft.com

 

When you work with Craft Commercial to buy, sell, or lease property in the Triangle, you benefit from the entire team rather than just one agent’s knowledge and skills. With a whole team of commercial real estate experts acting in your best interests, you can quickly and easily achieve your real estate goals. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Craft Commercial, please call 919-446-5000 or visit www.craftcommercial.com.