Report: Bigger is Better for National Home Buyers

US New Home ConstructionThe sluggish housing market over the last several years did not have an impact on Americans’ desire for bigger and fancier homes, according to a recent report from USA Today.

Evidently, demand continues to grow for these large estates, especially as the housing market across the nation improves.

This is a fascinating trend on the national housing market and one that is sure to impact both home buyers and sellers.

Americans Love to Own Large, Luxury Homes

The American Dream of owning a bigger and better home is still very much alive across the country.

In fact, as the recent USA Today article noted, many of today’s buyers still want a house that includes as many luxury amenities and features as they can think of – or at least afford.

This may include gourmet kitchens, deluxe bathrooms, spacious decks or screened-in porches.

While this is occurring, experts also note that homeownership rates have remained mostly stagnant. And income growth appears to be lagging behind the rising price of homes.

Meanwhile, the size of families and households continues to shrink, even though the houses themselves are getting bigger.

Experts say that this is because Americans still love the idea of owning a home that makes a statement about them, that demonstrates their status in society.

A Closer Look at This Housing Market Trend

Here is some relevant data on this housing market trend, based on US Census data:

  • The average square footage of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. jumped by nearly 57 percent, from 1,660 in 1973 to 2,598 square feet in 2013.
  • The Northeastern region of the country had the second-highest average square footage, which rose by 65 percent. Specifically, the square footage jumped from 1,959 to 2,636.
  • Meanwhile, the average number of people per household in the U.S. dropped from 3.01 in 1973 to 2.54 in 2013.
  • Specifically, families fell to 3.12 members from 3.48 during the same period of time.
  • As a result of the construction of larger homes, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. skyrocketed by 419 percent from $62,500 in 1978 to $324,500 in 2013.
  • Even if you consider inflation, that still quite a jump, experts say.
  • The Northeast is home to the highest average sales price, which increased by 646 percent from $63,000 in 1978 to $469,000 in 2013.
  • Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes in the U.S. jumped by 20 percent: from $292,000 to $324,500.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. homeownership rate continued to drop during the fourth quarter of 2013: from 65.4 during the fourth quarter of 2012 to 65.2 percent.

So What Do Home Owners Get With These Newly Built Homes?

A better question is: What don’t they get?

Here’s a breakdown of these new construction homes and what they offer to buyers:

  • Of the 569,000 homes built last year throughout the U.S., 188,000 (33 percent) contained three or more bathrooms.
  • Meanwhile, 251,000 (44 percent) of last year’s houses featured four or more bedrooms, which is the largest share since 1973..
  • Also, of the homes built last year, 301,000 (53 percent) came with a patio.
  • And 361,000 (63 percent) featured a porch.
  • Meanwhile 127,000 (22 percent) included a deck.
  • Another trend that experts are seeing is more finished basements for added space, according to the report.
  • These homes have mostly hovered around one and two stories, however, despite the increase in size. In fact, 233,000 (41 percent) of newly built homes last year were one story and 305,000 (54 percent) were two stories. Meanwhile, only 31,000 (5 percent) were three stories or more.

Follow Our Blog for More Valuable National Real Estate Data

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

We’ve made it our goal to help you stay informed as you navigate the market. After all, the better informed you are, the better prepared you are for securing a successful outcome on the housing market.

Zillow Buys Out Trulia and How It Affects Raleigh Real Estate

untitledYou probably heard by now that Zilllow has purchased Trulia.  These are the two largest real estate websites used for national home searching., which has been around much longer, has dropped to third place due to the amazing marketing these sites have done.

Here are some things Raleigh area homeowners and homebuyers may like to know about these two giants merging:

  1. This acquisition will not have any negative affect on your home marketing with Linda Craft & Team, Realtors.  For years we have purchased the maximum exposure packages offered on both sites.  Most real estate companies allow the free download from MLS to these national sites but, do not invest additional marketing dollars.   Our advanced marketing package will continue on both Zillow and Trulia which will continue to showcase your home.
  2. The national news about the purchase is probably driving millions of new people around the world who may have not been using those sites for home searching.  The media may be increasing your exposure right now so we are excited to have our advanced marketing package in place.
  3. There are over 12,000 websites where home buyers may search for homes nationally.  Your Raleigh home  is on all of them because we know 95% of the buyers are shopping for homes online.   We are committed to making sure they see your home everywhere.
  4. All national sites including, Zillow and Truilia have a lot of incorrect data on their sites and they do not care.  Their focus is on selling advertising to Realtors, mortgage lenders, movers etc. not promoting and selling your home.  This is why we also invest in our own websites (over 100 domains) where your information is listed correctly.  For example those domains include which had over 5 million impressions and 2.2 million page views last year.  We spend a lot of our marketing dollars on the Internet
  5. If you are searching for a new home DO NOT use the national sites.  Their information is outdated and incorrect.  Many of the houses on national sites are sold.  The best place to shop for accurate information is a local website that only features homes for sale in that market.   For example:  has all homes for sale in the Triangle area only.  You can’t search California on, but the Triangle home search feature is accurate and real time.

This may be more than you wanted to know about searching for homes on the Internet but file it away for the next time you hear of a family, friend or coworker shopping for a home.  They will be impressed with your knowledge and you may even help them find a great house by sharing this trivia and truth with them!

Here at Linda Craft & Team, we strive to give the utmost in customer service. We would love to help you so please call today (919.235.0007) to schedule a free buyer or seller consultation. We have a whole team of experts waiting to help you find your dream home!


Triangle Home Buying Series: The 6 Phases of Buyer’s Remorse, Phase 2

Here is the second 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.

2. After the offer is accepted – Your Buyer Specialist calls to say “congratulations the seller accepted your offer.”  You are so happy but within 24 hours you start wondering if you paid too much.  You loved it yesterday and now you’re not so sure. What is one to do?!

TIP:  Don’t let Buyer Remorse fill you with fear and steal your dreams.  Pop the champagne and celebrate.   Remember, you compared house values each and every time you looked at houses. To get this far into a purchase you are practically an expert on value because of the large number of homes you have compared online and in person. In addition, before writing an offer, your Buyer Specialist would have pulled comparable sales in the neighborhood to show you what other buyers paid.  You can trust yourself. Stop doubting and recognize that this is just normal Buyer’s Remorse rearing its ugly head.  Whatever you do don’t torment yourself by looking at other houses.  Stay off the Internet, it will drive you emotionally crazy.

Just in case you can’t turn off the haunting thoughts remind yourself you have a “value safety net” built into your contract.  That safety net is a third party independent appraisal.  By contract your house must appraise for the price you were willing to pay or you do not have to buy it.

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 the home inspection in 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!

Optimism About US Real Estate At Highest Level in 7 Years, Polls Show

Home buyer optimismThe numbers don’t lie: Americans are growing increasingly confident about the overall health of the national real estate market, according to a recent report.

Evidently, a recent Gallup poll showed that 56 percent of Americans expect average home prices in their area to increase, which is up 33 percent from just two years ago.

And it’s markedly increased from the low point of 21 percent in January 2011.

How The Recent Poll Was Conducted

Gallup conducted interviews between April 3 and 6 with a random sample of 1,026 adults, ages 18 and older.

These respondents lived in all fifty states as well as the District of Columbia.

These telephone interviews were conducted on cell phones and landlines and were conducted in English and Spanish.

What Do The Numbers Show About American Perceptions of the Market?

The latest poll numbers from Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance poll indicate that Americans are feeling increasingly confident about the market.

Here are some of the highlights of the poll results:

  • Between 2008 and 2011, Americans were more likely to expect local home values to decrease rather than increase.
  • Then, in April 2012, optimism about home values started to outweigh pessimism 33 percent to 23 percent.
  • Now, more than five times as many citizens believe home values will increase compared to decrease (56 percent to 10 percent).
  • People living out west are most likely to think home values will increase, with 72 percent of respondents.
  • Comparatively, about 44 percent of Americans living in the East expect home prices to increase.
  • These figures are compared to 54 percent of Southerners and 53 percent of Midwestern residents believing that home prices will increase.
  • The poll also showed that 64 percent of Americans are homeowners, with 74 of those people saying that their home is now worth more than when they bought it.
  • Still, these numbers aren’t as high as they were during the real estate peak in 2006 and 2007, when 90 percent of home owners said their home value exceeded purchase price.
  • 74 percent of Americans say it’s a good time to purchase a home, compared with 24 percent who say it’s a bad time.
  • The poll also showed that homeowners are more likely than renters to say it’s a good time to buy a house, with 81 percent of home owners and 60 percent of renters saying that.

Experts are encouraged by the recent data because it suggests that fewer home owners are underwater and more people are interested in entering the market and investing in property. This has long-term benefits to the overall health of the market.

Your Epicenter for National Real Estate News

We believe that providing up-to-date information to buyers and sellers is paramount to ensuring them a successful outcome on the real estate market.

Check back here in a couple of weeks for more relevant updates on the current state of the national housing market and to learn what kind of effects that activity is likely to have on buyers and sellers.

Sidewalk Sale for Charity in North Raleigh This Weekend!

donation boxAre you looking for something to do this coming Saturday, March 15? Look no further! There is a wonderful sidewalk sale happening in North Raleigh that is for a great cause. Note in The Pocket is a non-profit organization that provides clothing to children in need who have been identified by various schools and social service agencies. They are oftentimes impoverished or homeless and need clothing to wear to school. Note in the Pocket accepts clothing donations all year long. The Sidewalk Sale is Saturday, March 15 from 8-2! They are selling overstock, off-season, and non-school appropriate clothing for $1.00 to $2.00! We hope to see you there!



Report: National Home Buyer Enthusiasm Helped Drive Up Prices in 2013

Home buyingHome buying fervor has driven home prices to their largest annual gain since 2005, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Evidently, home buyer interest – fueled by low mortgage rates as well as reduced inventories – helped drive prices up in 2013.

Now, experts are saying that home buyers and home sellers can expect price gains to level off in the wake of the home buying frenzy.

Key Statistics For National Home Buyers or Sellers

According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller price index, U.S. home prices increased 11.3 percent year-over-year during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the Case-Shiller index that measures home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas reported that prices increased 13.4 percent during that same period of time.

And another index, which is calculated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, reported that prices increased 7.7 percent, to an eight-year high.

More News You Can Use

Here’s what else real estate analysts recently reported about the national housing market:

  • Home priced decreased 0.1 percent from November to December in the 20-city index.
  • That marked the second straight monthly decline.
  • Experts noted that the monthly declines during the fourth quarter were actually the smallest for that period in eight years.
  • Meanwhile, in January, sales of previously owned homes dropped 5.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Home builders across the country reported increased profits in recent months. For instance, Luxury builder Toll Brothers said it saw a 21 percent year-over-year increase in its average sales price during the quarter ending in January.
  • However, the builder also reported that new contracts for homes during that same quarter decreased 6 percent year-over-year.
  • Meanwhile, all 20 cities reported annual gains last year, including Las Vegas with the largest at 25.5 percent and San Francisco following close behind with 22.6 percent.
  • Across the US, home prices have increased 21 percent after bottoming out in early 2012.
  • Home prices, which dropped 35 percent between 2006 and 2012, now are 21 percent below their previous peak.
  • Now, home prices are at the levels they were in mid-2004.

Experts say that the rising home prices are good in one sense, although they may also curb home buyer activity as homes become increasingly less affordable.

Still, in the long run, the leveling out of price gains is a good thing because it means a more stable and robust housing market.

Your National Real Estate Experts

We hope you stop by our blog again soon to get the latest information on national housing market activity.

We’re your national real estate experts and we’re here to help you make an informed decision on the market as a buyer or seller!

Your Raleigh Home and Airport Noise : What You Need to Know

raleighAre you searching for a Raleigh/Morrisville home and are curious about airplane noise and disturbances? RDU Airport has a great site that addresses these concerns and gives resources on how to find out if your dream home will be affected by noise. See below for an excerpt from Their highly experienced Noise Officer is a great resource to current homeowners and those interested in purchasing a home in the Triangle!

RDU Recommends the Following for Potential Home Buyers

Assess the Homesite Take at least two hours at the homesite to observe aircraft operations in each operational mode. There are two modes for aircraft operations at RDU. When the winds are south, southwest or west, the planes depart towards Morrisville and Cary and arrive over north Raleigh. When the winds are north, northeast or east, the planes depart towards north Raleigh and arrive over Cary and Morrisville. The noise impact will be different for each operational mode at the homesite. A good time to observe is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Most planes fly during the day and early evening. Some flights occur late at night. Weekends may be busy too. Personal observations are important. However you probably don’t have the time to observe at all hours. Airplanes fly at all hours. There is no curfew at RDU.

Flight Tracks

The flight tracks affect areas in Wake County, Durham County, Chatham County, Orange County and beyond. Become aware of what aircraft noise impacts there may be at the homesite by calling the Noise Officer.

The flight track map depicts one day of operations for each operational mode. Although there can be some day-to-day variation in the airspace where airplanes operate, in general the flight track map shows where airplanes fly when operating at RDU. There can be variation in the altitude of the airplanes due to various reasons, both on departure and on approach. An airplane flying lower than other airplanes can cause a noise disturbance. (See Noise Information)

RDU’s Runways

Currently, Raleigh-Durham International Airport has two parallel runways that handle all jet and most propeller aircraft operations. A short perpendicular runway handles some propeller aircraft. Another parallel runway is planned to be operational in the future. A new runway located on the west side of the airport will be built when demand for air service requires it. The two existing parallel runways and the planned third parallel runway are shown on the RDU Composite Noise Contour Map. (See Noise Information)

Screen Information Carefully

Be careful with what people tell you. Real estate agents, property developers, neighbors and concerned citizens may not be familiar with aircraft operations at RDU. So when they tell you that the airport shuts down at night or that the planes usually fly the other way or that it’s not that bad or that the noise is getting worse every day or that the flight tracks just got changed or that the property value is going down or anything else, please call the Noise Officer. The Noise Officer will discuss flight tracks, current aircraft operations, noise disclosure and future growth at the airport.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

It is important for the public to know that the authority to control aircraft in flight and on the ground is vested exclusively in the FAA. The FAA, however, cannot control the number of flights or the time of day of aircraft operations. Federal law preempts any local government agency from implementing any action that is intended to control the routes of aircraft in flight. Therefore, the noise committee, local elected officials and airport management cannot control the routes of aircraft in flight or on the ground.

In November 1990 Federal law directed the FAA to establish a program to review aircraft noise and access restrictions proposed by airports. The FAA must approve any new noise restriction if it affects turbojet aircraft that are compliant with Stage 3 noise standards. Local governments cannot propose aviation noise restrictions.

Noise Disclosure

North Carolina law requires residential disclosure for resale of homes. Noise disclosure is necessary for resale of homes located within the noise-impacted area designated by the RDU Composite Noise Contour Map (See Noise Information). The Airport Authority has notified property owners within the noise-impacted area by mailing an Aircraft Noise Notification to them (See Homeowner Information). Recent homebuyers should have received noise disclosure when purchasing a home from the previous homeowner. Ask the seller about noise disclosure.

Be advised of the following exemption in the residential disclosure law: “Transfers involving the first sale of a dwelling never inhabited”. Newly built homes being sold for first time occupancy are exempt from disclosure by law. A seller of a new home built in the noise-impacted area can choose not to disclose noise. If you buy a newly-built home in the noise-impacted area, you will have to disclose noise should you choose to resell the home. If you have any questions about noise disclosure, please call the Noise Officer.

Property owners have the right to request a zoning change for residential development. The cities and counties have the right to exercise land use decisions that include approval of residential subdivisions directly underneath existing and future flight tracks. You have the right to buy one of those houses. The Airport Authority has the right to develop the airport to accommodate any and all aviation needs for this region. The FAA has the right to guide the aircraft in the airspace. Pilots have the right to operate the aircraft. All of this is done to promote the economic prosperity of the Triangle region and eastern North Carolina. Call the Noise Officer at (919) 840-2100 for more information regarding aircraft noise and airport operations.

As always, Linda Craft & Team is here to help and educate you when making what might be the biggest investment of your life. For a free consultation, whether you are buying or selling, please call 919.235.0007.

More Gains Expected in 2014 for US Housing Market

US Real EstateExperts emphasized recently what they’ve been saying for weeks: The US housing market will show even better gains in 2014.

Evidently, experts believe that it will be a good year for housing, despite the fact that sales are likely to level off slightly.

Those interested in buying and selling real estate in the US in 2014 will surely find the following information helpful as they navigate the market!

Good News for US Homes for Sale

Here’s the outlook for the US housing market, according to a recent article I was reading:

  • Interest rates on 30-year mortgages are expected to rise above 5 percent by midyear. Currently, the national average is about 4.5 percent.
  • Home prices are expected to increase 5 to 6 percent in 2014, which is about half of what it was in 2013.
  • New home construction is expected to show immense growth in 2014, which is great for the homebuilding industry as well as those buyers looking for more options.
  • The number of foreclosed homes has dropped significantly in the last several months, suggesting that the foreclosure crisis is nearing an end.

In a related article, CoreLogic reported a similarly optimistic outlook for 2014, especially given the most recent data available.

Citing November 2013 data, CoreLogic reported that:

  • Home prices increased 0.1 percent from October to November.
  • Home prices rose11.8 percent between November 2012 and November 2013,
  • 2013 represented the best year for housing since the financial crisis.
  • When all was said and done, home prices increased about 11.5 percent in 2013, which was the biggest gain since 2005.
  • And sales of existing homes reached 5.1 million in 2013, the National Association of Realtors said.  That’s an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.
  • That figure is also the highest it’s been since 2006.
  • CoreLogic said that, after talking with several economists, they expect sales and prices to continue rising this year, albeit at a slower pace.

Those markets that are expected to be the “hottest” in 2014 include:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Jose, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Buying and Selling US Real Estate

Hopefully it will be a great year for the national housing market. One thing is for sure: It will be an improvement from the year before!

Check back here soon for more pertinent information on the current state of the national housing market!

A Very Merry Year End National Real Estate Report

National housing market salesWhichever way you look at it, the real estate market is finishing strong as we wrap up 2013!

According to a recent Bloomberg report, several market indicators are showing growth and gains, which is great news for home buyers and home sellers alike!

Today, we’re going to share with you some of the highlights of this recent report. Happy holidays everyone!

US Home Sales

According to the Bloomberg article, purchases of new U.S. homes rebounded during the month of October from the lowest level it’s been in more than a year.

Specifically, home sales of these new homes jumped 25.4 percent to a 444,000 annualized rate. This was only a month after that figure was down to 354,0000, which was the weakest it’s been since April 2012.

Experts say that this signals that home buyers are beginning to adjust to higher mortgage rates.

Aiding this increase in home sales is the fact that there have been employment gains across the board, as well as stock price increases.

Here’s what else the report revealed about national housing market activity:

  • Home purchases decreased 6.6 percent in September from a 379,000 annualized pace in August.
  • The median home sales price showed a year-over-year decrease of 0.6 percent to $245,800 in October.
  • Home purchases rebounded in all four U.S. regions during the month of October
  • The biggest increase in home purchases was in the Midwest with a 34 percent increase.
  • The supply of homes decreased from 6.4 months to 4.9 months during the month of September
  • There were 183,000 new houses on the market by the end of October, which is down from 190,000 during the previous month.
  • New construction accounted for about 7 percent of the residential market in 2012.
  • Meanwhile, applications for building permits increased by 6.2 percent to a 1.03 million annualized rate, which is the most it’s been since June 2008.
  • That’s compared to a September pace of 974,000
  • There were 2.13 million previously owned homes for sale by the end of October, which is down from 2.17 million during the month of September.

National Real Estate News at Your Fingertips

As you can see, our national real estate market is becoming more active as residents everywhere become increasingly optimistic about the state of the housing market.

This bodes well for 2014 predictions for the national housing market!

Check back on January 1 as we continue to discuss real estate market activity that affects you!