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

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!

Saving Money with Green Raleigh Homes

Going Green in your Raleigh Home will help you save green every month. You do not have to build a new home  from the ground up to have a healthier, greener home in Raleigh. These quick home tips will help save the earth while reducing your monthly housing expenses too. 

Going Green Can Help Save You Money

 

 

 

 

Going Green Can Help Save You Money

TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE

Turn your hot water temperature down to 120 degrees and cut hot water heating energy compsumption

SWITCH THE LIGHTS

Compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75% less energy than traditional bulbs. Replace them in highly used fixtures such as porch lights, bathroom vanities, and office lights.

SAVE WATER

 Install low-flow shower heads and faucets to cut back on water flow or shorten your shower time and your water and heating bill

PLUG OUT

Use a power strip for your Raleigh home office or entertainment center. Even in standby mode, electronics account for 15% of the household electricity.

SWITCH OFF

Remember to turn off the light when you leave the room and to unplug your computer and other appliances when not in use. These small gestures will save you money and protect these items during bad weather. 5 to 10% of your energy cost goes towards lighting

ADJUST REFRIGERATORS

of all your appliances your refrigerators will use the most electricity in your Raleigh home.  Adjust the temperature to 37 degrees F and your freezer to 0 degrees F  and save.

WASH CLOTHES 

in cold water and save roughly 36 cents a load.

DRY CLOTHES OUTSIDE

Hang your heavy duty clothes and bed linens outside and get that fresh smell.  You’ll also be reducing the amount of  energy you use in your home.

SEAL IT

Search for hidden air leaks around doors, window, electric outlets and in your attic, basement or crawl space too. Seal them with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. With four seasons in Raleigh sealing a  home can cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent.

NIGHT NIGHT

Lower your themostat at night and stay warm with a down comforter. For each degree you lower it, you’ll reduce heating cost 3% to 5%.

RATE IT

Look for Energy Star-rated products for your Raleigh home. They can save you a third of energy cost.

Going Green with Raleigh real estate can turn your home into an energy-efficient investment.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Linda

How Much Will Divorce Cost a Raleigh Homeowner?

Divorce Can Be Challenging Once it Comes To Real EstateWhen Raleigh real estate was booming, couples who divorced would fight over who got to keep the house. Each one expecting the winner could get rich from the rapidly appreciating Raleigh home prices. With the downturn in the real estate market couples are now fighting about how to dispose of their homes without both sides losing more than the marriage.

Raleigh Real Estate Marital Asset not Always an Asset

In an appreciating market it is easy to sell a home  and split the proceeds allowing you to move on with your new life. It was also easy to refinance your Triangle property or take out a home equity line of credit and buy the other party out. Today’s lending guidelines have tightened, appraisals are no longer inflatable and the residential property has become a new major battle ground. Raleigh real estate is a hot potato neither spouse wants to hold on to.

Falling Raleigh Home Values Spell Trouble

Home prices across the country have fallen the past 24 months. Raleigh has not been hit as hard as some parts of the country but, the Triangle market is down and for many couples divorcing find themselves upside-down and facing another stress they had no way to predict.

We walk down the aisle, buy our first home together and believe our marital bliss will last forever. 60% of all marriages fail, 70% of all second marriages fail, if you add those percentages to the falling home prices it spells TROUBLE! Many couples facing divorce are finding themselves “upside-down” on their home mortgage. Meaning they owe more for the Raleigh home than it can sell for in today’s real estate market. If they bought their Raleigh home in the past two years and need to sell it now,  they are in trouble. If they refinanced in the past 3 or 4 years and took their equity out, they are in trouble. If they took out a home equity line to pay off credit cards, go on vacation or buy a new car, they are in trouble. Many Raleigh homeowners facing divorce are in financial trouble. Divorce has enough stress and heartache of it’s own, now it has the negative effect of  home equity to factor too.

Divorcing Raleigh Homeowners Have Options

In the past, the spouse keeping the home would refinance the home mortgage under his or her name. But if their home is worth less than your mortgage balance, you can’t refinance without coming up with a lot of cash. Many couples are abandoning their homes to foreclosure and damaging their credit for years to come. Others are living together as “platonic roommates” confusing distraught children and keeping everyone from healing and moving on. Some couples continue to share the mortgage payment and are waiting for the market to return. Depending upon how upside-down the mortgage is this could take years of payments. While all of these are options there are others that may be better and should be explored as well.

More Raleigh Home Options

Another  home option is contacting your bank to see if they would allow you to negotiate a loan modification so you can keep the house with a more affordable payment. The other is renting your investment and waiting for it to be sold at a later date when the market is more favorable towards profit. When people are stuck in a house, so much gets put on hold and peace of mind is a lot more important than a piece of land. If all else fails and the marriage and Raleigh home can not be saved the best solution is a short sale. To learn more about dissolving a marital asset through short sale.

If you have any further questions or need help in navigating a sale after separation and divorce, please call me at 919.235.0007. 

Linda

Kids in Community Foundation Was a Big Success in Cary, NC

Last Monday I had the special opportunity as a Carolina Hurricanes Corporate Sponsor to participate with Jo Ann Gardner, Muriel Bijeau and Brenda Miller from my team in the 11th Annual Kids in Community Foundation Golf Tournament.  This event is held in order to raise funds to help the Carolina Hurricanes be able to present grants to Communities in Schools, Boys and Girls Club, Durham Public Education Network, YMCA of the Triangle, Triangle Family Services, and the Danielle Karmanos’ Work It Out Program.

Our team was set up at the 18th hole at the beautiful Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.  Many of the Canes Players and staff paired up with the other tournament players.   Everyone seemed to have a great time- I know that we did.   To see pictures of the event, feel free to check it out on our website:  Linda Craft Kids in Community Photos.

Go Canes!

Linda

Raleigh Real Estate September 2008 Market Update

Hi Everyone,

Last week the Wall Street Journal economist reported that the bottom has been reached in the metropolitan cities and they predict a return to begin immediately in those cities. They also stated that other areas are expected to follow soon. The lowering of interest rates into the 5% range has helped give every area a spark.

I spoke to a top agent in Las Vegas, an area that was hit first and hit hard and she said from January until July she only had 4 sales. In August she had 8 sales and she reports the phones are ringing off the hook. Sounds like the economist nailed this one.

Other rural areas around the county are reporting that prices have fallen to where they were 5 to 10 years ago and they believe it will be next year before they hit their bottom and begin to see a return in their market.

In Raleigh, our real estate market continues to be one of the strongest in the nation. Our prices have fallen mainly by the amount of appreciation sellers hoped to receive. Most sellers price their homes by taking past sales and adding 8% to 10% appreciation. What we are experiencing is the homes that have closed have sold without “hopeful appreciation” added to them.

Many people have a false sense of our Raleigh reality because they see a lot of homes failing to sell or many sellers making numerous price reductions. This is only because the seller didn’t price their home in today’s market. They used old school thinking of adding appreciation to last years prices. This formula doesn’t work in a down market. I am rarely seeing sales price below their original investment. When I do see this it is because they purchased their home at the end of the peak or in the past 18 months. Most closed prices are equal to where homes were selling in 2006. According to our local TARR Report the closed sales in Raleigh have a 2% gain. People who purchased in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in Raleigh will see strong appreciation in the next couple of years. When the National real estate market returns to their full speed it will be light speed in the Raleigh real estate market. We have so many buyers sitting on the fence waiting for a sign. Don’t wait to long or you will miss the best buying season in history.

The News Media reports on the National Real Estate Market. You can’t judge what the temperature is in Raleigh by watching the weather report in Florida. In Raleigh, you need to buy now. We have a great market. Here are facts from (MLS) Multiple Listing Service.

Raleigh Homes For Sale ….4,473

Raleigh Homes Closed – Year to Date …. 5,181

Raleigh Pending Sales …967

Raleigh Absorption Rate …4.6 Months (A normal market is 4 to 6 months inventory)

If you have questions, or would like to see a copy of the Triangle’ s T.A.R.R. Report, feel free to call me at 919-235-0007.

I hope that you will enjoy this great weather we are having this weekend.  My team and I will be at the Caniac Carnival today with the other 20,000 fans celebrating the 2008-09 Carolina Hurricanes Season Opening Week.  This event is held at the RBC Center in Raleigh and runs from 10 am to 2 pm.  Our team will be there with a large inflatable slide and a drawing for a 5 day cruise for two.   At 3 pm the Carolina Hurricanes will offer a scrimmage game that is free to the public.  I hope you will come by to join us.

Linda

Raleigh Real Estate Market

Hi Friends,

The stock market fell 300 points yesterday which means mortgage interest rates will follow. It is now the perfect time to buy a new home or investment property. Many people feel they need to wait on a home purchase because of the war, fuel cost and the upcoming election. Actually, that is a huge mistake. There has never been a better time in Raleigh real estate history to buy than right now. Think about this…when would you rather buy a new home or investment property? When there are multiple buyers bidding the price up? Or now, when there is less competition in the market and more products available in Raleigh, NC than ever before?

Sellers fear tomorrow will be worse than today so they are negotiating 2% to 5% off of last years prices. This means you are saving 8% to 12% on every home out there. Call your lender and lock in a low rate and buy now is my advice. As soon as consumer confidence returns in our country prices will go up. There are so many people who want to buy and are just waiting for a good sign. All it will take to change our buyers market to a sellers market is a couple of days where the media changes its tune and speaks positively about our economy and the housing market and it will be a buying frenzy. Buy now and save. The sky is not falling you have a great opportunity right now don’t lose it. How many times have you said I wish I had bought land 25 years ago in Wake Forest? How about North Raleigh and Cary when it was farm country and cheap? Don’t you wish you had someone encouraging you to buy back then? Well then is now. Don’t look back on 2008 and have regret because you waited.

Hope you stay dry this weekend,

Linda

A Better Future For Children

Hi Friends,

Every year I attend a Real Estate Conference called Star Powers. Howard Brinton is the founder of this organization and he is an amazing man because he not only trains Real Estate Agents to grow as professionals he empowers them to make the world a better place too. At the conference this year in Orlando, he shared a great idea we can use with children to plant positive seeds in them so they have a better future. If there is a child in your life that is special you might want to try this.

Here’s an easy tip to give a child a bright future…

There is a little 5 year old boy that Howard sees regularly. He told the little boy that if every time he sees him the boy will come up to him and say  “I am the best” five times that he will give him $5,00 for his college fund. When the little boy sees Howard he says: “Hey Howard, I’m the best, I’m the best, I’m the best, I’m the best, I’m the best. They have a box marked college fund and Howard pulls $5.00 out of his pocket and puts it in the box. I have a feeling this little boy will grow up to be the best. What do you think of this idea?

Linda Craft