How to Buy a Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s start the new year off right. If you’ve been dreaming of a new home, it’s time to get started. Here’s a month-by-month guide to planning for and buying a new home. It’s about time to set your new year’s resolution, right?

January: Brush Up on Your Market Knowledge

Woman typing on a laptop with a paper pad and pen sitting next to her on the desk.The best way to get started? Brush up on your real estate knowledge. Scour the market with a fine-tooth comb. Check out things like current inventory in your city, average sales prices, and the listing-to-sales-price ratio.

This research will help you familiarize yourself with the market.

February: Address Your Budget

Let’s finalize our budget shall we? The easiest way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Meet with a lender (let us know if you’d like a recommendation) to review your finances. The lender will go over your financial history, and then let you know what the bank is willing to lend you.

Now you have an idea of what your mortgage will be and what you can afford in a home.

March: Find Your Perfect Location

A park full of bright trees, each at a different stage in the fall process (one is red, one yellow, and one green).Do some soul searching. Where will you be happiest? Explore locations based on their job market, housing affordability, and overall quality of life. The goal is to narrow down your search to one city.

If you have the means, try to take some time off to go and visit a few cities. Once you find a city, it’s time to narrow your search down even further by pinpointing specific areas or neighborhoods that will best meet your needs.

April: Find the Right Agent

Find the right real estate agent to help you buy a home. Trust us: they’ll save you time, money, and more than a few headaches.

If you need any recommendations, let us know. We have more than a few ideas.

May: Define Your Dream Home

Luxurious living room with winding staircase, bright furniture, and hanging light fixtures.Now is the fun part! Start putting together a list of everything you want in your dream home. We recommend starting by defining your “must-have” features. Think of the things in your home you can’t live without. That’s a great place to start.

It’s also important to know the difference between “must-have” (i.e. you need 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms) and “nice-to-haves” (it would be nice to have granite countertops but you can also live without them.)

June-July: Begin Searching

Use a handy home search tool like ours to begin browsing homes for sale in your target area. Once you find a home that you like, it’s time to schedule a tour.

Private home tours are often better than traditional open houses because you have more time to walk through the home, without the pressure of competing with other potential buyers.

At some point in your home-search journey, you’re likely to come across at least one home that calls your name.

August: Fall in Love and Make an Offer

Bright dining room with hardwood floor, small black table, modern decor, and a ceiling fan.You’ve found the one; now make an offer!

Work closely with your agent to compare recently sold homes in the area and craft the perfect offer.

Ask your agent for their advice—like whether or not they think the price is right for this home, as well as what other contingencies you might want to include in your offer. This is when your real estate agent will prove truly valuable: they’ll be able to provide useful insight in order to help you get the home of your dreams for the best possible price.

September: Schedule All the Things

Let’s get down to business. It’s time to negotiate with the seller, schedule an inspection, have your real estate agent complete any renegotiations (based on that inspection), and get the home appraised by a professional.

You’ll also have to take care of some more paperwork to finalize your mortgage loan.

October – December: Let’s Start Closing

Two adults reaching over a table to shake hands.Next, you’ll start the closing process.

Buckle up, because we’re in it for the long haul! Here’s where you’ll finalize your mortgage approval (this requires a ton of paperwork) and meet with an attorney to set closing dates and sign paperwork prior to closing. This is also the time when you’ll review closing fees and the exact monthly costs for your home.

At the end of it all comes the close. You’ll pay the remaining closing fees, sign all the paperwork, and collect your keys Congratulations! You just bought a home.

Ready to Begin?

We’re ready to help. Give us a call today to get started.

3 Reasons Why the Raleigh Area is a Great Place to Relocate

Relocate To Raleigh North Carolina

There’s a lot of buzz about “Best Places to Live” flying around the internet. Without a doubt if you Google “Hottest Housing Markets” you will see Raleigh, NC positioned in the top 10 on most lists depending on what criteria is used. So a safe bet (since you are reading this blog) is that if you are looking to relocate, Raleigh is one of the places you are considering.

What’s so great about the City of Oaks? Well, let’s take a look at why Raleigh continues to be a such great value. Most of these online rankings are based on things like employment opportunities, unemployment rates, average income estimates, housing values, and population growth. Some even take a look at lifestyle factors such as outdoor recreation, restaurants and entertainment, and higher education. So what does it all mean, really?

 

First, You Have to Bring Home the Bacon

Work In Raleigh

Let’s get serious. First and foremost you have to pay the bills, so employment opportunities rank highest on everyone’s list when it comes to relocating. The Triangle area has a reputation worldwide as one of the most progressive, hi-tech, finance, and healthcare hubs. IBM, Cisco, SAS, and Glaxo, Fidelity Investments, Wells Fargo, Lenovo are some of the largest employers in the area. The Triangle also boasts one of the largest entrepreneurial networks in the world with a 30-year track record of successfully nurturing startup companies. These are a few reasons why the unemployment rate is 3.6% – .5% under the national average.

 

Second, Can I Afford a Home in the Triangle?

Can I afford a home?

Yes, housing is tight all over the country. Median home values in the Raleigh area is around $266,000 according to Forbes. So much more affordable than the western part of the country and definitely cheaper than the northeastern part of the US.

Raleigh saw an appreciation rate of 5.9% last year but that’s estimated to level off to 3.7% this year keeping prices from skyrocketing as they have in other parts of the country. With a median household income of $84,288, the American Dream of owning a home is very achievable in Raleigh and the surrounding areas.

 

Third, Will I Enjoy Living in the Triangle?

Fun in the park.

Well, that all depends on your tastes and interests. If you like to be outdoors, enjoy moderate temperatures most of the year, like the beach or the mountains, then you will definitely enjoy this area. Here’s a link to things to do in NC which will help you connect with area offerings.

Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill each house top-ranked universities – NC State University, Duke, and the University of North Carolina. So what? Well, having three college towns means loads of restaurants, entertainment, and SPORTS!!! Where else can you enjoy all the benefits of THREE major universities all within 30 minutes of each other.


Need Help Relocating?

One of the favorite things our agents love about working here is being able to help people relocate to this area. Many have lived here for years; some have lived here all their lives and they have raised their own families here. Wouldn’t a person like that be someone you would trust to share their knowledge of the area with you; helping you to find just the right neighborhood and the right home for you and your family? Give us a call and talk to one of our relocation specialists today!

Explore Dog-mopolitan Raleigh

A Canine-friendly City

Cute dog lying on the welcome mat

Americans, in general, love our dogs.

It’s true! Over 78 million furry friends reside in US households and over 44% of all households in the US have at least one pooch. Folks in Raleigh are no exception when it comes to pawsitively loving their dogs. One great thing about Raleigh, and really the whole Triangle area, is that except for the immediate downtown areas, it’s not as urban as many large cities which means Fido will probably have a backyard, even if it is small. In the more urban areas, there are numerous city parks, dog parks, and many, many restaurants, trails, outdoor activities, and events, that make it pawsible for dogs to join in life’s special moments.

 

Looking for a Canine Concierge?

Woman and Dog at Hotel

Are you looking to relocate to the Triangle area?

Raleigh alone has over 40 hotels that are pet-friendly. So if you are looking to relocate to the area, you will have no problem bringing your dog with you when you come to visit. BringFido.com is a great source for finding a hotel to stay in where your pup will be welcome! So is HotelGuide.com.

 

Bone A-pet-treat!
Women with dogs sitting in street cafe

With our temperate climate in the Triangle, most restaurants have some sort of outdoor seating and will welcome your well-behaved. furry friend to join you alfresco! So don’t furget your furry companion. Take them along with you! Here are a few favorites:

 

Downtown
Raleigh
North Hills RaleighCameron VillageNorth Raleigh
Plates Neighborhood KitchenChuy’sBenelux CoffeeRestaurants in Lafayette Village
Raleigh Brewing CompanyKing’sTazza KitchenSaints & Scholars Irish Pub
The StationMuraThe Flying BiscuitSola Coffee Cafe
Bad Daddy’s Burger BarAnother Broken Egg CafeThe Players RetreatGonza Taco Y Tequilla

There are hundreds of dog-friendly restaurants in Raleigh alone.

Need help deciding where to go? Yelp.com can help. Type “dog-friendly restaurants” in the search and select the city you want. You will see pictures and reviews of restaurants all over the Triangle written by dog owners who have enjoyed dining with their dogs. Also, check out these apps to keep up with what’s happening in the Triangle area:

  • Downtown Raleigh
  • Offline
  • WRAL Out & About
  • Go Eats
  • KoMoot
  • Indy Go

 

Tails on the Trails

Woman walking with dog on a trail

The Triangle area is ideal for active lifestyles with your dog.

Want to spend a fun day out and about with your pup? There are numerous trails and dog parks to explore. NC Museum of Art Trails, Umstead Park, Eno River Park, Tobacco Trail, and more all offering excellent hiking trails and most are close to dining areas as well. Here are some websites you can explore to find a trail that’s looks interesting to you.

 

TrailWebsite
Capital Area Greenway Systemwww.RaleighNC.gov
NC Museum of Art Trailswww.NCArtMuseum.org
Umstead Parkwww.NCParks.gov
Eno River Parkwww.NCParks.gov
American Tobacco Trailwww.WakeGov.com

If you want a special treat or if the weather is not ideal for outdoors activities, Woofinwaggle, a fitness center and dog spa in North Raleigh, has daily classes you can take to work out with your dog. Amazing, right?

If you are relocating to the Raleigh or just moving within the Triangle area, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS can help you find the right neighborhood for your dog-friendly lifestyle.  Contact us today to let us know what your goals are and how we can best help you meet them.

 

The Secret Behind Why Raleigh Outranks Buffalo, NY and Akron, OH

five people with a female business owner in the center

The United States is home to more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses that, in total, generate $1.3 trillion in revenue. In Raleigh, women-owned businesses supply 9.4% of jobs and symbolize millions of dollars of revenue. Our city holds a superior ranking compared to cities such as Buffalo, New York; Akron, Ohio; Provo, Utah; and Fayetteville, Arkansas, whose rates each average less than 5%.

More Jobs are Coming to Raleigh

Because of the high percentages of success in women-owned businesses in the Raleigh-Durham sphere, many women invest in the sector by relocating their current company or starting a new businesses in the renowned Triangle, North Carolina area.

Well-Known Women-Owned Businesses in the Triangle

Van Eure, a business owner in Raleigh, employs over 300 people in her business, The Angus Barn. Last year, The Angus Barn produced $15,923,614 in sales. Another successful women-owned business in the area is The Greer Group, which currently employs over 700 people and collects over $2.1 million in revenue yearly. The high success rates of these women in the business realm have inspired progress in other businesses owned by women in Raleigh and the surrounding cities.

a business professional standing in an office buildingOverall, the success rates of women in business is very high and only continuing to grow. Women-owned business are also considered a minority and with proper certification can be awarded contracts from private and governmental agencies.

Are You Relocating to Raleigh?

If you’re looking to live in a great city and relocate your current business or start a new one, consider Raleigh’s Craft Commercial, the premier local real estate firm serving the Triangle for over 30 years. To reach us visit www.craftcommercial.com or call 919-446-5000.

Outdoor Adventuring… in Raleigh? Absolutely!

ropes course and zipline in RaleighOn Friday, November 6th the Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® team took some time out for a team-building activity that also supports our year-long health challenge. Ten of us tried out the adventure ropes course located at Blue Jay Point Park in Wake County.

What a blast!

Ziplines and Tree Climbing at Go Ape Adventures

This adventure consists of five different sections, with the first one being a practice to get you used to how to use the equipment. You’re harnessed in with carabineers and safety gear. Each section ended in a zipline starting in the tops of the trees and ending with a landing on the ground.

The challenge was getting to the zipline through various climbing, balancing, and stepping-in-mid-air. If at any point you feel you can’t move to the next section, you can always just watch and cheer for your group!

The Course is Both Easy and Challenging

Some parts of the course were pretty easy, but others were quite challenging with tiny, wobbly ladders, balancing, and strategizing. For every fun item, like the Tarzan swing or zipline, there was an equally challenging piece that you had to work through to earn your reward.

A lot of this course is about trusting yourself – trusting yourself with the ability to manage the equipment while up high, conquering fear and nerves, and also trusting that you CAN do this! It definitely offered opportunities for encouragement and leadership.

If you decide to do the course, be sure to bring gloves or purchase the ones they offer you — it’s worth it!

Yes, You Can Have Outdoor Adventures in Raleigh

Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS at Blue Jay Point in RaleighAre you relocating to the Triangle and looking for attractions like Go Ape Adventures that let you enjoy the great outdoors? The Raleigh area is filled with fun parks and exciting things to do, from Umstead State Park to Falls Lake and just about everything in between.

As Raleigh real estate experts, we have all the resources you need to help you discover Raleigh and its opportunities for living near outdoor adventures: a Raleigh relocation guide, a neighborhood and home quick-search, and a variety of home buying resources specific to the area.

You can even use our advanced search to find your dream home in Raleigh by your ideal price, home features, and even your desired subdivision.

Have you found your dream home and want to see it in person? Contact us today at 919-235-0007 or linda@lindacraft.com and we can schedule a showing.

RTP – The Frontier

AU-BunkerResearch Triangle Park – RTP
The “Park” is managed by the Research Triangle Foundation of NC, which is a private nonprofit with a very public mission of serving, supporting education, creating meaningful work and jobs through economic development and lifting up the people in the state of NC. Research Triangle Park is a place to live, work, play, and collaborate.

The Frontier
“The Frontier” center at RTP is still under construction, but will have 5 levels with the first floor serving as a public convening space. Anyone will be welcome to come to The Frontier and work, host a meeting, or have a conference call. They will have different work areas and various setups. Free conference rooms will be open to the public with free coffee, internet, and sometimes free beer. The other floors will have more space and be open to tenants needing 5000 square feet or more. Short leases, variety of sizes, and affordable flat fee rent will allow networking and easy interaction among new companies. It will be a great way to become a part of the RTP community.

Learn more about RTP or The Frontier
Work at The Frontier
Drop-In Space
Events at The Frontier

Quick facts about RTP

  • started in 1959, it borders Wake & Durham Counties
  • geographical size is 7000 acres (MAP)
  • 190-200 businesses are located in RTP
  • 40,000 to 50,000 employees work in RTP
  • more than half of the companies in RTP have 25 employees or less
  • Chemstrand was the first company to locate to RTP, in February 1961

*Details taken for this blog post from the 919 Magazine Spring 2015 article, “Inspiring the Future” – an interview with Mason Ailstock, VP for Business Development

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

Yoga in Raleigh : April 2015

Photo Courtesy of Downtown Dame website
Photo Courtesy of Downtown Dame website

Raleigh offers a lot of opportunities for people to start or continue yoga classes. There are a variety of options such as day-long workshops or ongoing opportunities being held downtown that include more than just yoga. If you have a favorite yoga place, please comment and share your experience with others. We are always looking for great connections and want to share the best offered in Raleigh.

Shape Up Downtown Raleigh

FREE classes will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in April at 6pm at City Plaza on the green turf.  Not only do they offer yoga, but they offer Combat, Instanity, and Zumba. Classes are being organized by O2Fitness and taught by their professionals.

Yogafest April 11, 2015

Yogafest is a one-day event, offering multiple levels of classes and options. It’s held at the McKimmon Center near NCSU’s campus. They have 25 different sessions you can plug into – you can take a gentle, beginning class or if you’re an instructor you can sign up for continuing education. There is something for everyone!

Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS Are Your Triangle Area Experts

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

Tips for Relocating to the Greater Raleigh Area

Relocating is Moving x10

Relocation Tips for a Smooth MoveAnyone who has ever moved knows that it is a physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting process – whether it’s next door, or cross country. When you add the start of a new job, leaving behind friends and family, changing schools, and meeting new people, you can see why relocation is #3 on the list of top 10 stressors in life.

Linda Craft and Team is committed to simplifying this difficult process. We take the stress out of buying and selling your home so that you can focus on adjusting to a new area, new job, and new people. If you aren’t sure where to begin or what to do next, don’t worry. We’ve compiled many tips and relocation resources to help you get the process started and moving along smoothly.

3 Main Reasons For Relocation to the Triangle

  1. Corporate relocation for employment
  2. Family change or health concern
  3. Ready for a change (moving towards something better)

With each of these three reasons, the timing of a sale of a home to avoid double living expenses, hitting a job start date, or making the goal date of the arrival with your household goods requires an experienced Realtor to help with the total plan.

Relocation Decisions and Deadlines

Regardless of why you are relocating, there are many time-sensitive decisions to make and deadlines to hit that require careful consideration and planning. Almost everyone underestimates the time needed and the associated expenses of a move.

Destination City

Multiple decisions must be made long distance in a short amount of time in regard to the destination city, including:

After you have decided on the first basic need according to Maslow’s Law (shelter), then you’re ready to make the other big decisions. You will need to choose new doctors and coordinate forwarding medical records, transfer driver’s licenses, auto registration, register for schools, and make deposits for utility companies, all while learning your way around the new town.

Tips for Moving With KidsYou will likely feel lost and unsure of your decisions. All of this is being done while grieving the loss of friends, worrying about your children adjusting, and dealing with anxiety over making new friends or the new job. Check out our advice for moving with kids.

If you’re relocating to the Triangle area, we’ve provided local information about neighborhoods, jobs, schools, and more! Whether you’re looking for dog parks in Raleigh, tips for enrolling your little one in Wake County Kindergarten, or anything in between, we can provide the answers you’re looking for. And if there’s anything else you want to know about the area, you can request relocation information tailored specifically to your situation.

Departing City

Decisions in regards to your departing city typically include:

  • Which Realtor should I hire to represent me?
  • How much can I sell my home for?
  • What will I net from the sale in order to buy a new one?
  • How long will it take to sell my home?
  • How fast can it go on the market?
  • Should it be shown vacant or with furniture?
  • What should I budget to prepare my home for sale?
  • What if it does not sell on time?
  • Can I financially carry this home plus my living expenses in the new area at the same time? If the answer is yes, then for how long?
  • How am I going to time all of this move?

An expert Realtor with years of experience can really help ease the stress by helping you to plan, execute, and know what you don’t know. The departing city Realtor also works closely with the destination city Realtor to coordinate the details that must be timed together. Details such as closing date, move out and move in dates, transfer of funds from the sale to the purchase, are all things your Realtors are trained to help you with.

At Linda Craft & Team, we also coordinate the entire closing on this end and do everything in advance so that our relocating sellers can get on the road earlier to help ease the stress of the drive and time-sensitive tasks on the other end.

Steps to Take for a Smooth Relocation

  1. Stress Free RelocationCall Linda Craft & Team for a Realtor referral in your destination city. We work with all 3rd party relocation companies and have a network of the very best of the best Realtors in the world. When relocating, you desperately need to connect to an expert in your destination area for advice, coordination of events, interim housing and to find your new home.
  2. Get rid of junk – go through the attic, basement, garage, closets and drawers. Toss out, donate, or sell anything and everything you have not touched for a year. We will provide a list of charity pick-ups and places to sell valuables.
  3. Prepare your house to win a top-dollar, quick sale by following the advice of our professional home stager.
  4. Consult with Linda Craft & Team about options for selling the house vacant, staged or to utilize one of our Showhomes Managers that take over some of your reoccurring expenses.
  5. Gather facts and figures:
    • How much will I net from my sale?
    • What will it cost me to buy and live in the new area?
    What will my physical move cost?
    • What shall I budget for deposits required for new cable, utility accounts, insurance and taxes?
    Keep in mind the value of your home in the greater Raleigh area can’t increase in order for you to afford the price of housing in a new area. They are two different areas and the value is what the value is just like our weather is different than other parts of the country.
  6. Always have a Plan B. Your Realtor will be able to help you with this as well.

What You Need to Know about Relocating to Raleigh

There are so many pieces of the puzzle to put together in a short period of time. You probably still have a lot of questions about the cost of your move, and fear of the unknown can be overwhelming at times. We’ve provided all the information you need to answer these questions and calm your fears.

Get All The Facts Here

 

How a Realtor Can Help Reduce Stress and Accomplish Your Goals

Time is not your friend when you are relocating. Our goal is to take your burdens away through guidance, project management, and aggressive marketing that reaches millions of buyers causing our homes to sell faster.

Linda Craft & Team, Realtors provide:

  • Professional staging
  • Project managing at no additional cost
  • Reliable vendors
  • Vacant home service
  • Higher sales prices in half the time

Our Team has everything you need to get your house ready fast, and find the home and location that’s right for you. Contact us today to let us know what your goals are and how we can best help you meet them.