Reason #3,512 of Why I Love Living in Raleigh

I usually write about Raleigh real estate but, today some personal things going on in my life is leading me to draw your attention to a very important and sometimes forgotten things about Raleigh. Those of you who are friends of mine on facebook , twitter or follow our facebook fan page have seen that my husband, Jay, and my dog, Katie, both recently had  knee replacement surgeries.   Yes, you read that right.  Talk about turning my world upside down.  Jay and I have two grown children who live out of state so I am out of practice in taking care of family members on a regular basis.   Normally,  I am used to setting my own schedule, working in my real estate office 7 days a week and am busy all day long helping people buy and sell real estate here in the Great Raleigh Area.   It has been a tough few weeks.   Both of my “patients” are doing well and are on the way to recovery and we have been very blessed with a team who supports us along with our friends and extended families.   Healthcare in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC  and The Triangle Areas Boasts The Nations Top Healthcare

However, throughout this process it has hit me time and time again how fortunate Jay and I are to live in an area like Raleigh and the Triangle that includes such great health care.   I do not know about you, but  when I drive down the road sometimes buildings fade into the distance if a certain industry does not apply to me.   However, within 30 minutes of most homes in Raleigh we have three of the greatest medical facilities in the world.   Duke  and UNC Medical Centers are known for their advancement and trend setting in medicine.  UNC is opening a Cancer Center  just this year.   Wake Med has a heart wing and a trauma center and Rex Hospital is highly respected, privately owned and is a choice of many locals for health care. 

If you are looking for a great place to live with wonderful healthcare options for you or your family, then Raleigh should be your place to call home.   If you are interested in receiving more information about what it is like to live in the Triangle and Greater Raleigh area, or if you would like to see what neighborhoods are like in Raleigh,  please call, email or connect with us through social media.   Our team would love to share our wealth of knowledge about all of the great things you will have when living in Raleigh and how great  investing in  real estate in the Greater Raleigh Area really is.

Don’t forget to pack your umbrella today!

Linda

What is up with Raleigh Real Estate?

Over the last several months many people have asked me if home sales have been picking up for the Raleigh real estate market.   While we have seen an increase in appointments scheduled to view our current inventory of  Triangle area homes for sale, we have not seen them turn into equal sales.  Home sales around the Raleigh region are still very sluggish and the luxury market  has been hit the hardest.  what is up

The Biggest Real Estate Problem We Have in the Raleigh Region

is that we are not seeing many move up buyers. This is causing many sellers to compete for a sold sign and has driven home prices down. The listing inventory of homes for sale is still high and many sellers have reduced their home prices several times and still are not sold. The average home list price to sales price is  96% if sold in the first 30 days and 89% if price reductions occur. With declining home values, low interest rates and tax credits you would think real estate here in the Greater Raleigh area would be booming but, it isn’t. Everyone is busy showing a lot of houses but, the truth is Triangle real estate home sales are still lower in 2009 than they were in 2008.  

Let’s Look At Some Contributing Housing Market Factors

1.  First Time Home Buyer and Tax Credit   Continue reading “What is up with Raleigh Real Estate?”

Have You Come Across Any Foreclosure Scammers in Raleigh? FTC Issues Warning Video

As many of you know I help people in the Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Apex, Holly Springs area all of the time who are behind in the mortgage, facing foreclosure and need help.   Many times when I meet with people they tell me of scam companies and representatives who have contacted them saying they can help them, but instead charge upfront fees, etc and become a nightmare to deal with.

This week I came across a video by the Federal Trade Commission that gives helpful advice about what you need to do if you see you are starting to fall behind in your mortgage payments.   It also tells what you need to look for if you are approached by people who may in turn be scammers.    If you are anyone you know of need help, please help them get the real facts about what options homeowners have.   Visit www.hopenow.com, www.raleighrealestateforeclosures.com or call 1-888-995-4673.

You are not alone and we are all here to help.

Linda

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.

Continue reading “Home Sellers in this Economy Needs Tough Love”

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.

Linda

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.

Linda

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.

Linda

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-

Linda

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.

Linda