Searching for a smaller home? Chances are, you’re not alone.
Over the past few years, many “baby boomers” have experienced a sudden change. Their children have moved out and bought homes of their own, leaving their parents to dream about their own lives.
Oftentimes, such a sudden change in household size can be eye-opening. All of a sudden, that two story home with five bedrooms is too big. It’s costly, overly spacious, and hard to keep up with.
The solution? Downsizing.
Save Money & Improve Your Lifestyle
Downsizing your home is becoming a popular option for older generations. In the past, developers and builders focused on constructing huge luxury properties. But, just like the real estate market, that has shifted significantly.
In Raleigh, you’ll discover a wide variety of homes perfectly suited for smaller households. Two- or three-bedroom ranch style homes are increasingly popular, which is why you’ll find plenty of homes like this for sale in Raleigh.
Plus, unlike more luxury options, these homes are highly affordable.
Find Amenities Catered to Your Needs
The best part about downsizing? You can find a neighborhood that offers all the amenities you’ve ever wanted! Don’t want to take care of your yard or home’s exterior? Search for homes in low-maintenance or maintenance-free communities!
As the housing market throughout the United States remains consistent and reliable, you’ll notice a variety of single-family homes sold at lower price points.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), “The inventory of new homes for sale was 344,000 in March, representing a 6 months’ supply. The median sales price was $302,700 with strong gains in homes sold at lower price points. The median price of a new home sale a year earlier was $335,400.”
Find out about all the ways to celebrate Independence Day 2019 in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and beyond. Enjoy fireworks, parades, festivals and more.
Olde Fashioned Fourth of July Thursday, July 4th, 2019, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Historic Downtown Apex Flag-raising, inflatables, face-painting, karaoke, parade of wheels, fire department splashdown Free to attend. Might be cost for some activities.
Cary Independence Eve Celebration Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019, 6:30 p.m. Cary Arts Center
The Cary Town Band will celebrate and honor our nation’s veterans in this year’s Independence Eve Celebration. Speaker Deborah Tilton, a Specialist in the NC Army National Guard and decorated veteran, will answer the question, “What is a Veteran?” Musical selections will be played to honor those who have served. The band will pay special tribute to our military service personnel and their spouses past and present who have helped secure our freedom and liberty. For more info call (919) 469-4069. Free
Cary Independence Day Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 2019, 7:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. Fred G. Metro Bond Park, Boathouse Enjoy the fishing tournament, parade, and various activities. The activities start at 8 a.m. Free
July Fourth at Booth Amphitheatre Thursday, July 4th, 2019, 3 p.m. Koka Booth Amphitheatre Enjoy an afternoon and evening of fun, family festivities. The North Carolina Symphony will be performing. There will be a fireworks display at the end of the event. Free but there will be a charge for some of the amusements.
Town of Chapel Hill 4th of July Fireworks and Community Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 2019, 6 p.m. Southern Village, 400 Market Street, Chapel Hill
The celebration and fireworks are moving from Kenan Memorial Stadium this year. They will be launched from Scrogg’s Elementary School, and the prime viewing areas will be Southern Village, where there will be a pre-fireworks community celebration with kids’ activities and music, and Southern Community Park, 1000 Sumac Road.
Clayton’s Fourth of July Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 2019, 4 p.m. Municipal Park, 325 McCullers Drive, Clayton.
Live music by Big Love, free watermelon slices, free ice cream, inflatables, fair rides, and more.fireworks at the end of the day.
Children’s Independence Day Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 9:30 a.m. Durham Central Park, 501 Foster Street, Durham Bring the kids and celebrate the birth of our nation in this fun and patriotic parade. Come early to help your kids decorate their bikes, big wheels, tricycles, wagons, even strollers. Parade starts at 10:30 am. Free popsicles and fire truck tours after the parade. Free
Durham Fourth of July Celebration Thursday, July 4th, after the ballgame ends Durham Bulls Athletic Park Patriotic fireworks show immediately following the USA baseball game. Free, but you should consider buying tickets to the baseball game to make sure you get in. This is strongly suggested. Follow the above link for more information.
Watts-Hillandale Fourth of July parade and Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 10 a.m. Oval Drive Park, 2200 W. Club Boulevard, Durham This tradition started in 1950 with six neighborhood kids riding their bikes up and back on the sidewalk. Today, 1,000 people attend. The parade is led by the fire truck and features patriotic singing. Afterwards, participants cool down with bottles of ice-cold Coca-Cola.
Independence Day Celebration at Stagville Friday, July 5th, 2019, 11 a.m. Stagville State Historic Site 5828 Old Oxford Highway, Durham Free
Frederick Douglass Community Reading: Commemorate Independence Day with a community reading of Frederick Douglass’ powerful Fourth of July address, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” This is a participatory event, open to people of all ages! We will provide copies of the speech to all attendees, and read it out loud together as a community.
Independence Day Celebration Wednesday, July 3rd, gates at 6 p.m., Spare Change plays at 6:30 p.m., fireworks at sundown South Park, 900 S. Main Street Food vendors, music, free rides for kids, splash pad 6 p.m. until sundown, and fireworks. Free
Garner Independence Day Celebration Wednesday, July 3rd, 5 p.m. Lake Benson Park, 921 Buffaloe Road, Garner Celebrate Independence day with food, music, and inflatable games. The North Carolina Symphony will be performing. The event will end with a fireworks show.
Hillsborough’s Independence Day Picnic Sunday, June 30th, 11 a.m. Eno River Farmers Market Pavilion Live music by Alabama Slim and more. Food trucks and family activities in River Park until 3 p.m. Free
Holly Springs Independence Day Celebration Friday, July 5th, 5 p.m. Jefferson L. Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park A pet-friendly festival with food, games, crafts, activities, and more. There will be a fireworks display at 9:15. Free
Knightdale Fourth of July Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 5 p.m. Knightdale Station Park This celebration features food trucks, vendors, and kids’ activities, as well as a live performance by The Embers. There will be fireworks to close out the celebration. Free
Morrisville Fireworks Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019, 6 p.m. Morrisville Community Park Fireworks and food trucks. Bring blankets, chairs, and tents to watch the show. Free, but bring money for the food trucks
Raleigh Fireworks Thursday, July 4th, 6 p.m. PNC Arena/Carter-Finley Stadium/NC State Fairgrounds Area Raleigh’s fireworks will take place in the PNC Arena area.
Fireworks will be launched from property owned by North Carolina State University along Trinity Road, which is adjacent to PNC Arena, Carter-Finley Stadium, and the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. There are no major visual obstructions in the vicinity so the fireworks can be viewed from all directions.
Parking lot gates will open at 6 p.m. and fireworks are scheduled to launch at 9:30 p.m. There will be free parking at the PNC Arena lots, Carter-Finely Stadium lots, and North Carolina State Fairgrounds Bunn Field lots along Trinity Road.
Finley Freedom Festival Sunday, June 30th, 2019 6:30 p.m. A.E. Finley YMCA, 9216 Baileywick Road, Raleigh Free
The whole community is invited. You don’t need to be a member of the YMCA. Music, games, face painting, food vendors, balloons, and afireworks show.
Brier Creek Independence Day Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 7 p.m. Brier Creek Commons Games, bounce houses, prizes, and face painting. Ends with a fireworksdisplay at dusk.
Joel Lane House Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Joel Lane Museum House The historic Joel Lane Museum House offers free admission on July 4th. Take a tour of the house, and enjoy historical activities. Free
Independence Day Celebration at the State Capitol Thursday, July 4th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. NC State Capitol, 1 E. Edenton Street, Raleigh This great Raleigh tradition includes a naturalization ceremony for new citizens and patriotic music by Raleigh Concert Band. Check back soon for more information. Last year it also featured carriage rides, food trucks, and free family-friendly activities. Free
Rolesville Fourth of July Parade and Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 5 p.m. 121 Redford Place Drive The event will include live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and a fireworks display.
Selma’s all-American Festival Thursday, July 4th, 2019, 6 p.m. Uptown Selma A family-fun event featuring food, special events, a children’s area, and fireworks. Free
Smithfield Independence Celebration Sunday, June 30th, 2019, 6:30 p.m. South Third Street, Historic Downtown Smithfield Food vendors, water wars, and music by The Seaside Band. The celebration ends with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
Wake Forest Fireworks Display Wednesday, July 3rd, 5:30 p.m. Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest The band, Crush, is performing, followed fireworks. Free
Wake Forest Children’s Parade Thursday, July 4th, 10 a.m. North Main Street Children can ride their bikes, walk, or be pulled in a wagon along North Main Street. Free
Arts and Games in the Park Thursday, July 4th, 11 a.m. Holding Park, 133 West Owen Avenue Arts activities for kids Free
Wendell’s Independence Day Celebration Thursday, July 4th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wendell’s annual Independence Day celebration features a citizen’s and children’s parade down Main Street, starting at Wendell United Methodist Church, and ending at the J. Ashley Wall Town Square. Free
Money magazine named the Greater Raleigh area as the Best Place to Live, and Forbes has ranked this area #1 Best City for Jobs and #1 Best City for Education. If you are looking for a home in the Triangle, we can help.
Contact us at 919-235-0007 and we can schedule your personal tour of neighborhoods or homes in your desired area.
Spring is here, and summer is closer than ever. That makes it a great time to get outside and spruce up your home’s exterior!
If you’re planning on selling your home soon, a little outdoor maintenance can go a long way. In fact, here are five outdoor projects you can do yourself that are sure to add resale value to your home.
Install a Fire Pit
Imagine spending a warm summer evening out back with your friends, sipping cool drinks and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. The truth is, installing a fire pit is easier than you might think!
A fire pit is made out of fireproof materials and should sit on a flat surface at least 15 feet away from your home and any trees. Here’s a how-to guide for building a backyard fire pit.
Remember, check your local building codes before beginning any type of construction!
Don’t have a yard for a fire pit? Turn your balcony into a cozy dining area instead!
Add Some Outdoor Lighting
Transform your backyard space for summer with lights that add both ambience and security. You can safely add low-voltage lighting to your front or backyard by yourself, even if you don’t have extensive electrical experience.
Whether you opt for motion-activated LED lights or hanging fairy lights, you have some great options to consider for your yard!
Have a nice back deck or balcony? Add some lights to make it a great place to gather any time, day or night.
Fix the Front Door
Your front door should be clean, bright, and welcoming! After all, it’s the first thing potential buyers will see when they enter your home.
There are a couple of different options to freshen up your front door. If it’s very old or damaged, you could replace it altogether. Other options for sprucing up your door include painting it a different color,touching up the paint job, or replacing the doorknob or knocker.
Live in a condo with an interior front door? You can still spruce up your entryway with a nice welcome mat and some potted flowers.
Power Wash the Exterior
Dirty siding on your home can make it look old and neglected, which can be a major turn-off for buyers! A simple solution to get your home’s exterior looking like new is to rent a power washer to take care of any dirt. We recommend renting a heavy-duty, gas-powered pressure washer, as these are the most efficient.
Depending on your home’s specific material (vinyl, stucco, brick, etc.), you will need to obtain a specific type of detergent to power wash your home. Be sure to opt for an environmentally friendly version!
Refresh Your Landscaping
Taking the time to properly maintain your landscaping—and adding a few new features here and there—can both increase your home’s resale value and attract more buyers. After all, real estate is all about the curb appeal!
Installing an attractive stone walkway, mulching your flowerbeds, planting new flowers or shrubbery, and planting trees are all great ways to improve your home’s landscaping.
Don’t have a yard? You can still spruce up your entryway and outdoor areas with potted flowers or hanging planters.
Every year, the National Association of Realtors® conducts a survey to determine the profile of home buyers and sellers across the country.
The 2018 profile is interesting because the majority of recent homebuyers (a whopping 63%!) are married couples!
The Majority of First-Time Buyers are Married Couples
It’s true! According to the NAR, 54% of first-time buyers in 2018 were married couples.
However, if you’re still single, there’s no need to worry. 18% of first-time home buyers in 2018 were single women, while 10% were single men. In addition, about 16% of these buyers were unmarried couples.
Many homes for sale in Raleigh, and the Greater Triangle area, qualify for loans that don’t require huge down payments. You may be able to use an FHA loan or a USDA loan to purchase a home in one of Raleigh’s orbiting cities—in communities like Angier, Fuquay-Varina, and Apex.
These loans are popular because they only require a down payment that’s 1 – 3% of the home’s overall price. And, if you’re in the military, you have even more options!
When you tally up the experience of every single person on our team, you get more than 350 years of direct experience selling homes in the Triangle.
Compare that to 50% of Triangle area agents with less than 5 years of experience.
Plus, our experience includes:
This is a big part of selling real estate! You have to know how to negotiate with the buyer for the best possible outcome. Our team has negotiated and closed over 10,000 real estate transactions.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the average Realtor sells about 6 houses per year.
Our Exclusive Listing Partners specialize in pricing homes all day, every day. We specialize in focused expertise, which is why each of our listing specialists is able to close 20 times more homes than the average agent.
We list and sell over 100 homes each year, and have correctly priced and closed over $2 billion in real estate.
It’s no secret that selling a home comes with a lot of paperwork. Luckily, at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, our 30+ years of experience handling more than 10,000 contracts in the Triangle gives us the expertise to help you with all the disclosures and paperwork necessary in today’s heavily regulated environment.
An In-Depth Understanding of Market Conditions
When it comes to any business decision, we firmly believe that knowledge is power. That’s why we aim to empower our clients with a pre-listing consultation in order to fully understand today’s market conditions and the best ways to succeed in the Raleigh real estate market. Over the past 30+ years, we have used our in-depth market expertise to help our clients win during the toughest times in history (think the Savings and Loan Crisis, the Dot Com Bust, and the devastating Mortgage Crisis of the 2000s).
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
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
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
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.
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 ahome. 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
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®!
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.
This loan is available for certain eligible buyers. It has restrictions based on household income, as well as certain credit and employment requirements.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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
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.
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
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?
Now is thetime 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!