Home Sellers in this Economy Needs Tough Love

truth-loveEvery day in the Raleigh  area I meet with perspective home sellers.  However, in the current real estate market I find myself practicing “tough love” and being more of a counselor and consultant. I try to educate my home sellers to make sure they have realistic expectations so they do not end up with regrets in the end. Many times during the initial consultation I talk sellers out of putting their homes on the market and encourage them to wait until a better time. I show Raleigh area sellers the absorption rates for their location, age, square feet, architectural style, features and price range. I explain experimenting just to see what happens in a buyers market is another real estate listing about to fail.

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Quick Tip When Your Wallet is Lost or Stolen

lost-walletYesterday I called one of my clients and she was in an absolute panic. She had lost her wallet and was on the phone trying to cancel all of her credit cards. If this has ever happened to you then you know the fear, stress and dread she was feeling.

Here is a quick tip that will help ease your mind and take some of the work and panic out of the process.

Go to your nearest copy machine today. Open up your wallet and copy the front and back side of everything in it. Put the copies in a safe place such as a locked file cabinet or safety deposit box. If you lose your wallet it won’t be fun but, you will be able to protect yourself quickly and rebuild the contents without losing sleep over what you may have forgotten.

If your wallet or purse is stolen or lost for an added measure of protection you can also do the following:

1. File a police report in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc were lost or stolen. This prove to the credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first stip toward an investigation if there is one.

2. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizatons to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the social security fraud line. Placing this alert means all creditors will have to contact you before they can authorize new credit.

a. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

b. Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

c. Tran Union: 1-800-680-7289

d. Social Security Administration fraud line: 1-800-269-0271

I hope this never happens to you but, sooner or later it probably will. I have had a car stolen with my purse in it and my car broken into on vacation and my purse was stolen out of it. I’ve learned the hard way to  never leave my purse in the car and I have a copy of my wallets content locked in a safe place just in case I drive off from a gas station pump and leave my wallet on top of the car like one of my employees did last week.


Wake County Schools Information Site

I remember when my daughter Kelly attended Wake County schools and the fun we had shopping for new clothes and school supplies each year. Today preparing for back to school has become more complicated.  There are so many things to keep up with and many of you have children in elementary, middle and high. 3 schedules, 3 schools. WOW, I only had one to keep up with!

Because of all the frequent school changes thfirst-day-of-schoolat take place every year I have updated my website to provide one stop shopping for parents looking for information to balance a hectic schedule.   We have the latest in school information and childcare. If you know of anyone else that could benefit from this resource please pass it on.


Wake County Schools, Bus Routes, Daycare, Track Out information and more, found on LindaCraft.com


  • Ability to search by zipcode for local daycares and child care providers.  See their star ratings, comments and general information. 
  • Information on Project Enlightenment and Special Needs Services educational options
  • The ability to search for Wake County base school information by street name and house number 
  • The 2009-2010 early release schedule
  • 2009-2010 Wake County Bus Route Information
  • Resources for Homeschooling in North Carolina
  • Private and Charter School Information
  • Wake County Magnet school information, including the ability to search by city and grade
  • Orange County, Johnston County, Durham County, Chatham County and Chapel Hill, Carborro School Systems and much more. 

Our team’s goal is to make your life easier as a parent.   We also offer other family resources including information on Raleigh, Cary, Clayton and Wake Forest  parent groups, moving checklists for kids and much more. 

Ahhhh school days… I miss the bus stop where all the mother’s gather with a cup of coffee in their hand. Enjoy the moments, they grow up so soon.


Things to Know About Refinancing Raleigh Real Estate

Raleigh Refinancing TipsMany people are asking me about what they need to do to refinance their home.  Today I thought I would share a few things to think about before you make the decision to talk with a mortgage lender about refinancing your home.

How to Start the Refinancing Process

To refinance your home in Raleigh, Cary or anywhere in the Triangle area  you will have to reapply for the mortgage just like any new home buyer would. You will have to demonstrate solid credit history, prove to the mortgage company that you still have adequate income to quaify for the lower payment by providing tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements. I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense if you have been paying your mortgage on time and are refinancing your Raleigh home to have an even lower monthly obligation but, never the less, your have to provide documents and be approved all over again.

The Next Step in Refinancing:  The Appraisal

Last week during a listing appointment at my office I met with someone who tried to refinance her home in order to lower her monthly mortgage payments.  Like many people she had a first and second mortgage and contacted a local lender thinking she would not any problem refinancing.   However, her home did not appraise for what she owed.   She was stuck unfortunately in a cycle many homeowners in our Raleigh area are facing.

In order to refinance North Carolina homes  have to be professionally appraised at a high enough value to provide the lender with adequate security.  This is where many Raleigh homeowner’s are hitting a brick wall on refinancing. Appraisal guidelines have signifacantly tightened and Raleigh real estate has not gained value the past 24 months. This is keeping many home owners from being able to save money each month by taking advantage of a historical opportunity  of low interest rates.

To get an idea of your real estate value in the Raleigh, Wake County area visit www.Wakegov.com Type in your address and a search of recent home sales around your address will be displayed. You can also experiment with www.zillow.com  to get a zestimate. However, the best way to determine your Raleigh real estate value is to call me or a professional appraiser.

I will be happy to refer you to several good local appraisers anytime.  We have several listed in our Triangle Business Directory and they are people you can trust.


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

Need Ways to Save Time?

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

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

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

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

I hope that you have a great Monday-


CNNMoney Names Cary as Second Fastest Growing City in the United States

Linda Craft, Cary Real Estate Agent , shares that Cary was named the Second Fastest Growing City in America by CNNMoneyCNNMoney released it’s report this week on the  2009 Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the United States.   Our own Cary, North Carolina ranked second.    Even though I have been a residential real estate agent in Cary and the Triangle area for over 24 years it still excites me every time I hear or read  how great others know our area is too.   I moved to North Carolina 26 years ago and like many of you would never consider living anywhere else.   When people consider relocating to Cary, Raleigh, Wake Forest or any other city in Wake County they always comment how friendly everyone is,  how clean and pretty the roads and neighborhoods are and  how affordable it is to live here.

Information About The Triangle Area

If you are relocating and want a free relocation package or would like to know  what I consider some of the best real estate buys in the Raleigh, Cary area,  feel free to call me. I also have information on the $8,000 tax credit, Triangle area rentals, and am an expert referral resource for great home repair and remodeling companies.   I would love the opportunity to share my real estate knowledge with you and  your friends.  Please call or email if I can be of service and thanks for reading my blog.


Affordable Raleigh Homes

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

Check out this Raleigh Real Estate Market Data :

April 2009 T.A.R.R. Report

Average detached resale Raleigh home price $263,310

Average new construction Raleigh home price $281,935

Average Raleigh condo price $168,961

Average Raleigh town home price $179,018

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

Raleigh real estate is affordable!