Real Estate Ranked as the Best Investment for Americans

Over the past year, experts have been going back and forth over whether or not the United States is headed for a recession. More recently the risk of a recession has waned, but even with the possibility on the horizon, real estate remained strong.

In fact, real estate was ranked by Americans as the safest investment over the next ten years! Check out the numbers from Porch.com’s poll, and learn why now is the prime time to buy.

The Best Investment? Real Estate.

A row of homes.

Porch.com is a site dedicated to helping homeowners complete home renovations big and small, and they recently conducted a survey on generational housing outlooks. One of the questions on the survey? “What do you believe is the safest investment over the next 10 years?”

U.S. housing took the number-one spot, coming in as the response for 27.2% of those surveyed. It was closely followed by savings accounts, with 21.8%, then gold (16%), U.S. bonds (10.6%), and U.S. stocks (10.4%). Additionally, every generation overwhelmingly agreed that owning a home was a good investment, and most also expected the housing market to rise in the next ten years.

And Other Surveys Agree!

It’s not just Porch.com‘s survey that paints the housing market optimistically; there were two additional, unrelated studies that found similar results.

  • The Federal Reserve Bank’s 2019 Consumer Expectations Housing Survey discovered that 65% of Americans believe owning a home is a good investment, a number that has been steadily increasing over the past four years.
  • A Gallup survey also showed that Americans have picked real estate as the best investment for the past six years in a row.

Why Now Is the Prime Time to Buy

Two people shaking hands.

If you’re interested in starting to grow your investment, then now is the perfect time to start your home search. Mortgage rates—which have already been at near-record lows for most of the year—are expected to stay low into 2020. Buying a home now as opposed to waiting a few months could end up saving you a significant amount!

And it’s not only the financial side of things—since winter is typically a slower time for real estate, you won’t have to compete with nearly as many buyers in the Triangle area as you would in the spring. That means you can take your time and find a home that perfectly fits your wants and needs.

Navigate Triangle Real Estate with Linda Craft & Team

With over 350 years of combined real estate experience, Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® has been helping Triangle residents successfully buy and sell homes for decades. If you’re ready to start growing your investment, then we’re here to help!

Take some time to browse our resources for buyers, use our specialized home search tool to narrow down your options, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started.

5 Big Reasons You Should Sell Your Triangle Home This Winter

We know what you’ve heard—it’s almost impossible to sell your Triangle home in the winter. And if you do, then you can expect to make much less than you would if you had sold in the spring.

In reality, that’s simply not true. In fact, winter can be a highly lucrative time to sell your home! …If you play your cards right and work with an expert.

If you’re on the fence about listing, here are our top 5 reasons to sell your Triangle home this winter.

Demand is High

Sellers handing over keys after selling their Triangle home in the winter.

No one wants to buy a home in the winter…right? Wrong. According to the National Association of Realtors‘ latest Buyer Traffic Report, buyer demand is still strong throughout the entire country. In fact, many areas of the country are seeing multiple offers on the same homes!

You Won’t Have to Deal with as Much Competition

Two people shaking hands over selling a Triangle home this winter.

While buyer activity is high, inventory is low—actually, it’s under the 6-month supply necessary for a normal housing market! Since homeowners are starting to stay in their houses for a greater number of years than in the past, fewer homes are popping up on the market as a result.

Although that trend is starting to shift a bit, it’s still the prime time to capitalize on less competition.

Buyers Mean Business

Paperwork needing to be signed after selling a Triangle home in the winter.

In other seasons, you get a lot of “tire kickers”—you know, buyers who aren’t really serious about finding a home and just want to browse their options. If you sell your home this winter, you’ll benefit from a greater number of serious buyers. Many people are looking to relocate during this time of the year, and are often on a timeline. That means that when it comes to home shopping, they’re in the market to make an offer—if they like what they see, that is.

Now’s the Time to Move Up

Thinking of upgrading to a luxury home in the Triangle area? Now’s the perfect time. While inventory is low overall, it’s much higher on the more expensive end of the market, meaning you have more negotiating power as a buyer.

According to CoreLogic, however, prices are projected to rise by 5.6% within the next year. Moving into a high-end home now means big savings in the future—and the potential for a much higher sale price when you’re ready to list!

Don’t Put Off Starting Your New Chapter

A box packed full of things.

We understand how intimidating this step can be—not just selling your Triangle home, but making the move that comes along with it. But are your worries valid enough to put off taking this big life step?

When you work with Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we’ll do everything we can to ensure that your questions are answered, your worries are relieved, and your home is sold for top dollar.

Ready to Sell Your Triangle Home this Winter?

Then Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® is here to help. Our team boasts over 350 years of combined real estate experience—so we know what it takes to successfully sell a home. Take some time to browse our resources—including our home evaluation and home score tools—and let us know when you’re ready to to put your property on the market.

Santa Is Coming to Town…& He’s Helping Us Give Away a Five-Day Cruise

During this holiday season, our crew at Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® has been reflecting on just how grateful we are for our clients. After all, without you, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve the success that we’ve had this year!

That’s why we wanted to take the opportunity to give back a little bit by inviting one of our famous friends over to the office for a quick professional photo session. But that’s not all—to show just how thankful we are and spread a little extra holiday cheer, we also wanted to give away a special treat to a lucky winner: a five-day cruise for two!

Check out the details of our Santa Day celebration, and see how you can enter to win our luxurious ocean getaway!

Celebrate Santa Day

Celebrate the Santa Day event with Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®.

When: Saturday, December 21st, 10am – 2pm

Where: 7300 Six Forks Road

What: Mark your calendars: Santa Claus is coming to our office on Six Forks Road! We’ll be decking the halls, decorating the office, and setting up a festive photo shoot area—complete with a professional photographer!

Swing by the office anytime from 10am to 2pm, and you can get your photo taken with Jolly Old Saint Nick for FREE. We’ll be sure to send you an email after the event with a link to your 5×7 colored image, so you can make this a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Win a Five-Day Cruise for Two

Enter to win a five-day cruise for two, with the winner announced on the day of our Santa Day event!

Of course, we didn’t want to just stop there. In addition to free professional photos with Santa, we also will be giving away a luxurious five-day cruise for two to one lucky winner!

Enjoy the cool ocean breeze, relax in the sun on the wide-open deck, and listen to the lapping of the clear blue waves below…sounds like our idea of bliss! The cruise itself offers a lively Welcome Aboard party, gourmet food every night, a wide range of entertainment (including lavish shows, live music, comedians, and more!), pools and whirlpools, dozens of activities, and time to explore white-sand beaches and beautiful terrains at each port of call.

Wondering how to enter? Easy—just follow this link and fill out the form at the bottom of the page! Santa himself will be announcing the winner on our Facebook page, so make sure you click “like” so you don’t miss the big reveal!

Making Real Estate Plans in the New Year?

As you’re planning your holiday schedule, make sure you drop into our Santa Day event on Saturday the 21st! And don’t forget—Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® are always around to help with your every real estate need around the Triangle area, whether its buying your dream home or selling for top dollar.

If you have any questions—about Santa Day, our cruise giveaway, or local real estate—don’t hesitate to give us a call!

4 Quick Tips That’ll Get Your Triangle Home Sold Faster

Selling a home takes times. Oftentimes, if you’re listing, it means you’re relocating for a job, moving closer to loved ones, downsizing or upsizing, or making a number of major life changes…many of which are time-sensitive.

If you want to get your home sold fast (and not sacrifice profit), here are the top 4 tips you’ll need to keep in mind.

Make Buyers Feel at Home

According to the numbers released from the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Profile of Home Staging, 83% of buyers agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to picture themselves in the space—which makes perfect sense. If your home is peppered with family photos and cluttered corners, it won’t exactly feel welcoming!

If your home is staged, then odds are it’ll also sit on the market for a shorter window of time. In fact, the report even mentioned that one-quarter of buyers’ agents said that staging a home boosted the offer anywhere from 1 – 5% when compared to similar homes for sale that weren’t staged! If you’d like some personalized tips on how to maximize the appeal of your Triangle home, our team would be more than happy to do a walkthrough.

Keep It Organized

An organized kitchen drawer.

Imagine walking into a stranger’s home and finding stacks of dishes in the sink, papers on the countertops, tables full of coats and bags…not a very inviting atmosphere, right? When you’re selling your home, that effect is amplified ten-fold.

According to the report mentioned above, the most important room to perfect is the kitchen. In addition to cleaning out the sink and scrubbing down the countertops, consider also baking fresh cookies or setting out a pot of coffee. Not only will it give the buyers something to enjoy during the tour, but it’ll also infuse your home with cozy smells!

Price It Right

Keys to a Triangle home for sale.

The right price is the key to a quick sale. Price your home too high or too low, and you risk having it sit on the market way past your desired deadline. So, you’ll just use an automatic estimator to get the job done, right? Well…only if you’re okay with the possibility of using outdated data and not having every upgrade and repair taken into account.

Want your home priced to sell ASAP? Let us help. Not only can we price your home, but we can also give you a sellable home score that details exactly what its strengths and weaknesses are—as well as how quickly we think it’ll sell.

Give Buyers Full Access

Keys in a door.

Limiting buyer access to your home is one of the biggest selling mistakes you can make. Although showings might not always be convenient, they’re the only way a buyer can truly get a sense for your property. By limiting them in any way, you also limit your buyer pool.

It may not always be ideal, but try to be as flexible as possible with showings. After all, buyers won’t wait on you forever, so they may move on to a new home if you don’t respond promptly!

Want to Sell Your Triangle Home Faster?

At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® , we have over 350 years of combined real estate experience—so we know what it takes to successfully sell a home. Take some time to browse our resources, learn more about what we have to offer our clients, and give us a call when you’re ready to take the next steps.

Buyer Demand is Growing—Here’s How You Can Take Advantage of It

Typically fall—and especially late fall—isn’t an active time for the housing market. Buyers slow down around the holidays, fewer sellers list their homes on the market, and there’s a predictable lull before the New Year.

But this year, that’s not the case. In fact, buyer demand has grown in every region of the country, with the South in particular boasting the second-highest percentage of increased buyer traffic! Here’s how the numbers break down, and how you can take advantage of it as a seller.

Buyer Demand is Up

An agent leading buyers on a tour of homes during the late fall, a period of high buyer demand.

For the second month in a row, buyer interest is up in every region of the nation, including the Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and the West. This is likely largely due to low mortgage rates that have been present for most of the year, which makes buying in general more attractive and affordable.

Here in the South, we’ve generated the second-highest level of year-over-year buyer traffic growth, coming in at 6.4%—the largest jump in activity since last spring! The Western U.S. dominated the race at 8.9%, while the Midwest was lagging, but still in the game, with a .8% growth. Nationwide, the activity increase averaged out to 4.6%! For late fall and winter sellers, this is fantastic news

Buyers are Motivated

Home buyers on a tour of homes for sale.

One of the best things about selling during this time of the year? You won’t have to deal with buyers who are causally shopping. Instead, you can expect that most people out hunting for homes are hoping to move in before the new year—which works in your favor.

Since buyers will be on a timeline, they’re less likely to want long, drawn out negotiations. While they will probably be a little pickier about the home they choose, that just means that you have even more leverage—inventory is low, and if they walk away from your home, it could take them weeks to find another that they like.

Competition is Low

An aerial view of homes.

While spring and summer typically boast higher prices and more activity, that also means that other sellers are looking to capitalize on those benefits, as well. But in late fall and winter, seller activity takes a dramatic dip—and the limited listings on the market suddenly become much more attractive for motivated buyers.

There will still be other homes on the market, however, so don’t take this as an excuse to slack off on staging or marketing. In fact, staging and marketing are even more important during this time of year, since buyers are more selective in the homes they choose to tour!

Want to Bring Buyers to Your Front Door?

Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® can help. We have over 350 years of combined experience, which makes us perfectly suited to ensure that your home sells not only quickly, but also for the highest price possible.

Want to add your home to our list of over 10,000 successful sales? Take some time to browse our resources, learn more about what we have to offer our clients, and give us a call when you’re ready to take the next steps.

Here’s The #1 Reason to List Your Home this Winter

Do a little research on the best time to sell your home, and you might think that it won’t be worth it if you’re not listing in the spring or the summer. While every season has its own unique benefits, that couldn’t be further from the truth!

It is true that spring and summer are traditionally more active months for buyers…but that also means they’re more active months for sellers, too. That’s why there’s one major benefit to listing your home in the winter!

The #1 Reason to List in the Winter?

A home surrounded by snow in the winter.

You can avoid that extra selling competition! Just because winter isn’t quite as busy as other months doesn’t mean buyers are completely inactive. In fact, while there may be fewer buyers total, the ones shopping right now are more likely to be highly motivated to make an offer!

If you’re hoping to capitalize on that motivation and the decrease in competition that the season brings, then November through January is the perfect sweet spot for listing. With inventory low, your home becomes a hot commodity—and captures the attention of serious shoppers before the spring inventory hits.

Inventory Trends

Home inventory trends for winter sellers based on data from the National Association of Realtors.

Assuming this year follows suit with last year, then December is looking like the prime time to capitalize on limited competition. Last year, inventory dropped by nearly 200,000 homes from November to December, then ticked back up by almost 100,000 come January.

And it’s not just the decrease in competition—it’s all about supply and demand, and the limited inventory of homes in the winter brings potential for higher prices. An added bonus for this year’s sellers? Mortgage rates are continuing to hover near record lows, meaning more buyers than usual may be motivated to hit the market!

Want to Make the Most of Your Sale?

A miniature white house sitting on top of a table surrounded by winter decor.

One of the keys to a successful sale? Pricing your home right. Not only will the right price ensure that you’re making as much as possible, but it’ll also bring the right type of buyer through your door.

If you want to find the most accurate and competitive price for your home, just get in touch with Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®! Not only can we give you the most up-to-date number based on your home’s condition and local trends, but we’d also be more than happy to recommend a few value-boosting projects that can take your property to the next level.

List Your Home this Winter

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to wait until spring or summer to get top dollar for your home. The winter season is full of benefits for sellers that are just waiting to be capitalized on!

If you’re thinking of listing your home soon, let Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® help. With our years of local experience and vast array of resources, we’ll price your property, help you make it look its best, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Ready to get started? So are we. Just give us a call!

Online Home Searching is Good—But Here’s Why Using an Agent is Better

These days, it’s easier than ever before to search for a home online—and tons of buyers are doing it. In fact, 93% of buyers start their search on a website…but that doesn’t tell the full story. In addition to websites, 86% of buyers are also still using a real estate agent to find out more about homes for sale in the area.

So, with so much technology at our disposal, what is it about real estate agents that keeps people coming back?

 1. There’s More to Real Estate Than Finding a Home Online.

People pointing at homes for sale on a laptop screen.

Guess how many estimated steps you’ll take during the real estate process. Have a number in your head? It’s likely not high enough. In reality, there are around 230 possible actions that can take place in a successful real estate transaction, and the search process is just a drop in the bucket!

Touring homes, submitting an offer, getting in-depth info on a property, setting up an inspection—it’s a long list of to-dos, and not many of them can be taken care of online. You’ll want someone by your side who’s already been through it all!

2. Negotiations are Tricky.

People shaking hands in front of a white brick wall.

Want to save thousands on your home purchase? It’ll take some stiff negotiating. There are several places during a sale where there’s opportunity to open and reopen negotiations, from the initial offer, to the appraisal, to post-inspection. If you want to capitalize on the potential for a lower price, you’ll need to work with a real estate agent who knows exactly what to say and exactly when to say it.

3.  Your Offer Needs to Set You Apart.

People discussing an offer on a home.

You may not realize it now, but the offer you submit determines whether or not you make it to the seller’s next round of considerations. Are they offering a fair price? Should you offer over or under? Does it make sense compared to other local sales trends…or are they trying to get more than their home’s worth?

An offer is a lot more than just a number—it’s your entryway to the rest of the buying process. Working with a real estate agent who knows their way around market trends is the best way to confidently know that your offer is competitive enough.

Enlist the Help of Local Real Estate Agents

From the online search to the closing negotiations, you can trust Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® to be there through every step of your buying journey. Don’t go into your real estate experience underprepared—let us help you find your dream home for a dream price.

Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away!

The Numbers Are in… and Now’s a Great Time to Sell

This year’s real estate market has been shattering all sorts of expectations—and the latest numbers are no exception. While you might think that spring and summer are the most profitable seasons for selling, this fall has the potential to prove you wrong!

Here are the highlights from the  National Association of Realtors’ latest home-selling report.

Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market

A "For Sale" sign in the front yard of a home.

Before we dig into the numbers, it’s important to provide a little context as to what they mean.

Buyer’s and seller’s markets are primarily determined by the amount of inventory available. If there’s less than 6 months’ worth of homes for sale, then prices will go up, leading to a seller’s market. On the other hand, when inventory tops 7 months, price tend to depreciate and the market swings in the favor of buyers.

With that in mind, let’s get to the numbers!

Sales vs. Inventory

A key in front of a miniature model of a home.

While sales have gone up, the most important takeaway from the report is the inventory. At the end of August, the total housing inventory sunk by 2.6% to 1.86 million homes for sale.

Unsold inventory is lower than the 4.3 month figure recorded last August, which represents a 4.1 month supply based on the current sales pace. With increased demand and limited supply, sellers are benefitting in major ways—namely, price increases.

Why the Increase in Buyer Activity?

People shaking hands over a real estate transaction.

Typically, buying slows down during the fall and winter months, but with mortgage rates remaining at near-record lows, it’s been hard to resist taking advantage of them. In fact, The Existing Home Sales Report also shows that 49% of properties were on the market for less than a month when they were sold.

The bottom line? If you’re planning on selling, now’s the perfect time to capitalize on ready, willing, and able buyers—and likely for a better price than usual.

List Your Home with Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to put off your home-selling plans until the spring or summer—the last few months of the year are shaping up to make for a stellar seller’s market.

Want to take advantage of these favorable conditions and sell your home before the end of the year? Then let Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® help. With hundreds of years of combined local experience, we have the resources, expertise, and skill-set to ensure that your property sells for top dollar! Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re just a phone call away.

Your Latest Course in Homebuying: The 5 Acronyms You Need to Know

You might think that since you’ve put some distance between now and high school and college, your days of memorizing vocabulary and learning new definitions is long gone. But if you’re buying a home, then you’re going to want to dust off those skills and start studying up.

Real estate comes with its own confusing jargon, and knowing what each term means makes you all-the-more prepared to tackle the process. Here are the top five homebuying acronyms that you should add to your vocabulary!

APR

Calculator

APR, or annual percentage rate, represents the annual cost of borrowing money based on your loan amount, interest rate, and other specific fees. The calculations for APR are a little confusing, but there are plenty of online calculators that can help you figure out what the number might look like for you!

FRM

FRM stands for fixed-rate mortgage, which is one of the most common types of mortgage. Luckily, this one pretty much means what it sounds like: with FRM, your interest rate will not change during the entire term of your loan.

DTI

A credit card.

One of the most important aspects of your finances that a lender looks at is your DTI, or debt-to-income ration. Your DTI is calculated by measuring your total monthly income against your total monthly debt payments. Ideally, you’d want to have around a 36% DTI.

PMI

If you can’t afford a 20% down payment, you’ll have to pay PMI, or private mortgage insurance. This acts as an added safeguard for lenders who work with you by ensuring that they’ll be protected from losses if you default on loan payments. Once you’ve paid off around 80% of your home, you’ll no longer have to pay PMI.

P & I

People at a bank.

P & I is just a fancy way of saying principal and interest, which are the portions of your monthly mortgage payment that go towards paying off the money you borrowed to purchase your home.

Ace Your Real Estate Experience

Of course, these five acronyms aren’t the only ones that’ll come up during your buying journey—but we’ll be around to make sure you can handle any other letter combinations that get thrown your way.

At Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®, we’ve been working in the Raleigh real estate world for years, and we’d be more than happy to leverage our experience to your benefit. Get to know a little more about what we bring to the table, explore our resources for buyers, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started!

Why Owning a Home is One of the Most Effective Saving Strategies

Over the past few months, we’ve talked a great deal about the benefits of owning a home—and why today’s market is one of the best windows to buy.

With a new set of numbers released on home equity, we’ve got another major reason why owning a home pays: it forces you to save, and in the process, those savings only appreciate.

It’s All About Equity

A jar of coins.

As you pay off your home, you start building up your equity—which is, in short, the difference between the current value of the home and what you still owe on the home. As your home appreciates in value and you chip away at the payments, your equity increases. Think of it as a “forced savings account.”

During the housing crisis and recession from 2006 to 2008, it was common for homeowners to dip into their equity and pull out money for other big ticket purchases, which ended up spelling major trouble for their personal finances.

Since your equity is technically an asset, it’s part of your net worth. The greater your equity, the greater your net worth, the better your chance of building future wealth.

The Latest Numbers

A person paying off their bills.

According to a recent report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner gained a staggering $65,000 in equity over the last 5 years. Not only that, but another study from the Urban Institute found that 37.1% of all homes in the country are totally mortgage-free. Of the remaining 63% of homes, about half of them have at least 50% equity—and that number is only going up.

Crunch the numbers, and you’ll find that just over 50% of all homes in the country have at least 50% equity. That means a whole lot of homeowners are continuing to pay into that “forced savings account” and are setting themselves up for major future wealth in the process.

The Importance of Equity

A house.

By building up your equity, you’re ensuring that you have a firm financial base to stand on in the future. It does, however, take time to accumulate. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of current market conditions, and begin your journey to increased equity.

Ready to Invest in Your Savings Account?

Buying a home now means building your equity sooner and ensuring a stable financial future. Now’s the time to jump in! If you’re ready to get started with the buying process, the Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® is here to help. Take some time to browse our resources, use our specialized search tool to narrow down your options, and give us a call to get started.