As the Average Rent in Raleigh Increases… It Might Be Time to Look Into Buying

A beautiful kitchen with pots of fresh herbs in the window sill.

While renting has a number of unique benefits, it also has one big disadvantage in the Raleigh area: it’s skyrocketing.

While rent prices have gone up significantly every year since 2005, the average mortgage payment has actually decreased since then. In fact, according to Core Logic, the average rent has increased by 36% between 2005 and December 2018. In that same time period, the average monthly mortgage payment went down by 4%.

What does this mean for people living in Raleigh? It’s time to buy a home. Here’s why.

Rent Prices are Only Going to Continue Increasing

This goes without saying. For renters, there’s no assurance that your landlord won’t jack up the rent prices every year you continue living there. Landlords do this to keep up with inflation, but also because they can.

If you buy a home, however, you can expect payments that are both lower and set. Depending on the type of mortgage loan you take out to finance your home purchase, you can probably expect to pay the exact same amount every month during the term of your loan.

Is Buying a Home Really More Affordable?

A woman sitting at a desk, crunching numbers on a calculator with a small stack of papers in the other hand.

Yes. It all has to do with your mortgage. Your monthly mortgage payments depend heavily on your loan’s interest rates. Luckily, mortgage rates right now are some of the lowest they’ve been since 2005.

According to the Economists’ Outlook Blog, the percentage of income needed to purchase a home throughout the United States has decreased steadily since November of 2018. This is great news for potential buyers: it means that they’ll need less of their income to afford a home.

Want to Learn More About Buying a Home in Raleigh?

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® is here to help. Give us a call today to begin exploring your home-buying options in Raleigh and the greater NC Triangle area. With our years of experience, in-depth market knowledge, and local real estate resources, we have everything you need to make a successful home purchase.

A Quick Study Guide on What “Affordability” Means in Raleigh Real Estate

A calculator next to an outline of market trends.When we talk about “affordability,” a lot of definitions may come to mind. For real estate specifically, affordability is something of a hot topic.

While it is true that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in the past decade, that has a lot to do with the real estate market crash of 2008.

If you’ve been in the real estate game for a while, you probably remember the flood of distressed properties that hit the market at this time. Due to the poor state of the economy, foreclosed and short sale homes were going for a huge discount. This rush of distressed homes actually damaged the value of other homes within a neighborhood.

Lucky for everyone involved in the real estate industry, things have since changed!

The Market Has Changed Since Then

A woman holding a tablet and looking at how the market has shifted over the past 10 years.Over the past decade or so, the market has recovered and prices have gone up right along with it. This isn’t a bad thing! A strong economy is good for everybody, especially those trying to sell their home for what it’s worth in the Triangle.

As such, both home prices and mortgage rates have increased. To make the best possible decision in the Raleigh real estate market, it’s important to have plenty of resources to rely on.

So Mortgage Rates Have Shifted

An open door with a set of house keys hanging from the key hole.When most buyers think of a home’s “affordability” they’re picturing two things in particular: the listing price of the home and the mortgage rate they’ll have to pay.

According to a CoreLogic report written by Andrew Lepage in late January, the “typical mortgage payment is a good proxy for affordability because it shows the monthly amount that a borrower would have to qualify for to get a mortgage to buy the median-priced U.S. home…”

While mortgage rates are slowly increasing, they are nowhere near the gargantuan rates of the 2006 housing boom (think an average monthly payment of $1,275…)

By the end of 2019, experts have projected the typical monthly mortgage payment to be about $963.

What Does That Mean for Buyers and Sellers?

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Raleigh, please know that this is one of the most advantageous times to invest in real estate!

At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have the market expertise necessary to help you make a highly valuable transaction in this area. Please give us a call today to learn more about your Raleigh real estate options.

You Should Be Building Your Own Wealth… Not Your Landlord’s

There’s no doubt about it: buying a home is a daunting task. In fact, many potential buyers are nervous about the commitment and obligation that comes with buying a home.

If you’re more comfortable renting because you think you can’t afford buying a home, we should talk. The truth is, even when you’re a tenant, you’re still paying a mortgage. Unless you live completely rent-free with a relative, you’re helping someone build their equity and pay off their mortgage with your rent money every month.

You’re paying your landlord’s mortgage, and giving them a little extra for themselves each month. Wouldn’t you rather be building your own wealth?

If You’re Serious About Your Finances, You Should Buy a Home

Stacks of coins growing consecutively in size until they reach a large pot.Buying a home is one of the most surefire ways to build wealth for the long-term. Additionally, it gives you significant benefits to your credit score, as well as a sense of security.

When you own your home, you’re not at the mercy of your landlord—who may raise your rent whenever they see fit. Plus, owning your home means you can decorate and renovate it to match your unique tastes! You have complete freedom over what goes in and what comes out.

In Fact, It’s a Great Time to Buy in Raleigh

A white kitchen countertop with red flowers and a candle.The spring home-buying season is shaping up to be a good one. Interest rates are still historically low, while inventory only continues to grow. That means this spring will be a wonderful time to buy a home in Raleigh.

Get a head of the competition by beginning your home search today! Do some research and come up with an idea of what kind of home you’d like to buy.

If you need any help locating potential homes for sale in the area, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have the inside scoop on the area’s best new listings.

Join the Home-Buying Ranks

It’s never too late (or too early!) to buy a home in Raleigh. Trust us, if you can afford to pay rent every month, you can afford to buy a home.

Plus, there are plenty of mortgage options out there that require little to no down payment! There’s no excuse not to take advantage of excellent market conditions and become a homeowner.

Market Update: Are Low Interest Rates Going to Stick Around?

If you’ve been eyeing the Triangle real estate market for a while, you’ve probably noticed interest rates rising in 2018. As we enter the first quarter of the new year, it’s important to stay on top of changing mortgage interest rates.

Right now, interest rates for mortgages in the United States are on a downward trend. As 2019 began, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to just 4.51%. In addition, the growth of home prices are expected to slow.

So, what does it all mean?

It’s a Great Time to Buy a Home in Raleigh

A couple receiving the keys to their new home.If interest rates remain low, now is a wonderful time to apply for a mortgage and buy a home in Raleigh! As interest rates increased in 2018, many homebuyers decided to pause their search for a new home.

But, if you’re in the Raleigh real estate market, now is the time to pick the search back up! As we continue through 2019, the inventory of homes for sale in Raleigh is expected to pick back up, while interest rates are expected to grow slowly from 4.77 to about 4.93 by the end of the year.

How Much Will Interest Rates Increase in 2019?

A man and a woman meeting with a bank lender.Organizations like the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, and the National Association of Realtors project that interest rates will increase in 2019. However, they will not increase as rapidly or dramatically as they did in 2018.

The bottom line: if you’ve been hesitating on buying a home in Raleigh, it’s time to dive into the real estate market. Low interest rates, a growing inventory, and the slow growth of home prices have created ideal conditions for home buyers in Raleigh!

Ready to Find the Perfect Home in Raleigh?

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® are here to help. With a combined 30 years of real estate experience in the Triangle, our team possesses the unique expertise necessary for making a highly successful home purchase.

We’re the #1 Triangle Real Estate Team for a reason. We offer customized services, in-depth real estate resources, and extensive real estate expertise to our Raleigh homebuyers. If you’re ready to expand your home search in Raleigh, then it’s time to give Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® a call.

The Real Benefit to Buying a Home in the Triangle

When it comes to real estate, it can be easy to get bogged down by the numbers. How much money are you going to spend on a home? Are you going to be able to build substantial equity over the years? If you decide to sell before your mortgage is paid off, will you have to renegotiate with the bank?

While the financial side of buying a home is important, what’s possibly even more significant is its emotional aspect. Buying a home has many intangible benefits; home is where you look forward to returning at the end of a long day. It’s the one place you can truly feel at peace and be yourself. It’s a place where you feel safe, loved, and protected.

The purchase of a home is unlike any other purchase you’ll ever make in your lifetime.

Owning a Home Brings Stability

Two parents teaching their daughter how to ride a bike.

When you buy a home, you’re not simply purchasing a property. You’re choosing to invest in a unique community that’s going to shape your way of life.

That’s why we’re so excited you’re exploring the Triangle as your new home. With its many different neighborhoods, towns, and cities, the Triangle offers a wide variety of different communities to choose from.

You Have Total Freedom Over Your Space

Unlike with renting, owning a home means having near-unlimited possibilities to customize your space as you see fit! Want to install a fire pit in the backyard? Interested in transforming your extra bedroom into a home gym? Eager to paint a wall in your kitchen with inspirational quotes? When you own a home, you have all the options in the world.

You’re also free to adopt pets, install Pinterest-inspired light fixtures, and do whatever else it takes to make your house feel like home.

There’s No Place Like Home

Adults clinking their drinks together over a lavish dinner spread.

The biggest reason to buy a house? To make it a home.

Create a space where you and your loved ones can come together to celebrate and to take care of one another. Set up a guest bedroom for when company visits, decorate your dining room for the holidays and the big events, and get excited about your new life in a community as charming as the Triangle!

Ready to Buy a Home in the Triangle?

We’d love to help you along. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we understand our buyers’ unique needs and expectations in a real estate transaction. As leading Triangle REALTORS®, we’re more then prepared to guide you towards a successful, lucrative, and emotionally fulfilling home purchase.

Get in touch with us today to learn more. In the meantime, browse some of our most popular Triangle homes for sale.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Nextdoor AppOur good friend Martin Brossman, an expert in social media and online marketing sent us this great blog on the Nextdoor App and website available to the public. Have you ever wanted to get to know your neighbors better? Or wish there was a way to notify them of suspicious activity in the neighborhood? Then Nextdoor is for you! Martin will explain how to maximize it to it’s full potential in an effort to stay connected to your Raleigh neighbors and community.

Nextdoor App for Your Raleigh Neighborhood

I learned about the Nextdoor App from someone that was talking about their neighbors like they just all met together the other day at someone’s house. I asked how they stayed so connected

I realized it was not an in-person meeting but a smartphone app called Nextdoor. I had heard of it before but that thought “one more app and thing to do” stopped me from trying it out at first. I have since met many people that use the app to stay connected as a homeowners’ association and love the app –you do not have to be in a homeowners’ association   to use this app. I have now joined it and am working to get more of my neighbors to download it and join.

The Nextdoor App is explained well by cnet, “It’s designed to help neighbors connect and communicate online about important information, services, and goings-on in their specific communities. Being neighborly has somehow gotten lost in the digital era. Nextdoor is working to reverse that.

Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor’s co-founder and CEO, told CNET, “People are using the technology to bring back a sense of community.” And that’s a good thing considering the majority of Americans only know some of their neighbors names and 28 percent don’t know any of their neighbor’s names, according to a Pew Research report.

I remember when I visited Japan many years ago I found that they had very low crime. It was not because the police were more effective but all the neighbors were paying attention and communicating. Nothing could happen in my friend’s town Maebashi, Japan without someone knowing about it and reporting it as suspicious. Our neighborhood watch is a very good idea but often is just a bunch of signs that people ignore over time.  Email lists can be of value but most of us are overwhelmed with email and it can get a bit spammy if you always say reply to all. The Nextdoor App seems to be filling a clear void. You can participate as little or as much as you want.

How does it work and how do I sign-up?

Go to your app store on an iPhone or Android phone and search for Nextdoor or you can sign-up on-line at https://nextdoor.com/ then download the app and sign in. The app will ask for enough information to do its best in verifying that you live where you say you live. Here is a link to see a demo of it in action:http://demo.trynextdoor.com/news_feed/ . Take a little time to learn about using it and maybe talk in person to another neighbor that has it. It has categories like: lost & found, free items, crime & safety and much more. Including who has Christmas lights to see for the Holidays.

I know some of you are asking: “Is it perfectly secure, can you guarantee that?” No I cannot, but neither is your front door, the internet, your car or especially an email list (that can be easily hacked or shared with anyone) 100% secure. As someone that has been consulting and teaching Social Media for businesses for now 7 years I can say that they have made every effort to keep it safer and more secure than email, Craigslist or anything else we use on the web or your own home/car.

Once you have fully set up your Nextdoor App you can set the level of updates and emails you get by going into the “Settings” and then checking or un-checking Notifications.  On the Android “Settings” is found selecting the menu area in the lower left hand corner of your phone. On the iPhone it is found off the main menu by selecting the 3 lines in the upper left corner under “Invite Neighbors”.

Check out the website at https://nextdoor.com/ and watch the video: http://bit.ly/nextdoorvideo . I hope to see you on the Nextdoor app if you are in my neighborhood!

Thank you Martin! What a great app to help you stay connected with your neighbors. This would also be a great way to let everyone in your neighborhood know you have listed your home with Linda Craft and Team. You never know if someone down the road has been eyeing your home or if they have a friend that is interested in buying a house.

For a free consultation on buying or selling a home, please call our office at 919.235.0007. We have a team of experts at Linda Craft and Team who are ready to help today!

Martin Brossman is a leading authority on social media and online marketing based in Raleigh, NC and Washington, DC. He is a business coach, trainer and author devoted to creating fulfilling lives for his clients through measurable business results. Martin offers a comprehensive coaching platform, integrating sales and business coaching with social media marketing consultation. He teaches classes on business-building topics at community college Small Business Centers and Chambers of Commerce and gives customized trainings for businesses and associations. Martin is available for keynote addresses, workshops and trainings. Phone: (919) 847-4757 Email: Martin@CoachingSupport.com

Why Is It A Good Time To Buy A House In Raleigh, NC?

We receive phone calls all the time from Raleigh home buyers asking “is it a good time to buy?”. Many people have seen that sellers are in a good position right now but what about buyers? Linda has addressed this question on the MyCarolina Today show. Below, we have listed improvements in the local, Raleigh market and why now is a GREAT time to buy a home in the Triangle!

Triangle Market Improvements:

  • Home values are going up – buying now before prices rise further
  • Tax value –  Wake County, Tax value to sale price is getting closer.  From a low of 82% in the down turn to an average of 96% now. Proof values are rising
  • Interest rates – Buy more house now.  Historically the US average for mortgage interest rates is 8.5%.  We are still in the 4% range  – All buyers will get more house if they buy now.  As a comparison the purchase power with these interest rates is $300,000 compared to only a $200,000 home at the higher rate.  Go to LindaCraft.com and search the difference in what you can buy with a sales price of $300 instead of $200.  Same payment and a lot more house!

Easier to Get a Mortgage

  • Credit is loosening up – mortgages being made again with credit scores in the high 500’s.
  • Jumbo mortgage rates are as low as conventional and much easier to qualify for.
  • 100% financing is available to those who qualify.
  • Tax Credit – Yearly tax credit runs as long as you have a mortgage and will occupy the home.  Go to LindaCraft.com and click on the first time home buyer section to learn more.
  • Short Sales can purchase faster now. Short sales typically take 12 months now as opposed to years.

National sites such as  Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com feature many homes that have been sold and closed for months.  It is frustrating to the consumer and a waste of valuable time.  Shop local. Shop Lindacraft.com! You can find current and up to date information on homes at LindaCraft.com.

If you have any real estate questions or needs, Linda Craft & Team would love to help you. Call for a free consultation today or visit LindaCraft.com for a live chat.

 

The Coveted Mudroom : Raleigh Real Estate Interior Details

Photo Courtesy of Houzz.com
Photo Courtesy of Houzz.com

Most Raleigh homeowners can agree that “stuff” tends to accumulate the most by the entrances of a home. How easy it is to kick off your shoes, throw down your bag and put something down with intentions of picking it up later. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dedicated entryway that house guests might not necessarily see when visiting. A place where you can store all of your jackets, rain boots and umbrellas. A “catch all” that literally catches all items upon entering the home? A mudroom might be the answer for you!

What Exactly is a Mudroom?

Mudrooms were common in farm houses and large manor houses in the 20’s and 30’s. There was usually a transitional area for farmers to take off their dirty work clothes before entering in. Most mudrooms were located off the back of the kitchen (away from more formal areas such as the parlor or living room). In the South (Raleigh, Cary or Wake Forest), it was common to have a small enclosed porch off the back of the kitchen to serve as a mudroom.

As time went on, mudrooms were combined with the laundry room where you would find tile and cleanable surfaces. Currently, most mudrooms are found adjacent to the garage or back entryways.

Can I Find Mudrooms During My Search for a Raleigh Home?

If you are a Raleigh home buyer, there are certainly homes out there that have dedicated “mud rooms” and entryways. Most are stock full of storage such as cabinets, storage benches and shelves. Talk to one of our expert buyer specialists about your families needs in a home.

What Are My Options as a Raleigh Homeowner if I do not Have a Dedicated Mudroom?

If the layout of your home permits it, you can certainly turn an entryway into an aesthetically pleasing area with some simple storage or a bench. Check out Linda Craft & Team’s  ideabook on Houzz.com for inspirational mudrooms and entryways! We also have a great list of Home Care Referrals that can assist you in any remodeling and renovations.

Are you interested in selling your home? Are you a Raleigh First Time Home Buyer or upgrading to a new home? Give us a call at Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS for a free consultation! Another great resource is our website, LindaCraft.com. We are here to serve your home buying and home purchasing needs. We look forward to hearing from you!