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.

Full-Service Real Estate – Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® and Craft Commercial

We are all very fortunate to live in an area where the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and flourishing. Raleigh and the Triangle area continue to be a hotbed for creative new business owners with fabulous product ideas they want to introduce to the world marketplace.

Because of this unique market, it makes sense for a real estate company to adopt a business plan where clients can one-stop-shop for both residential and commercial real estate needs. If you are starting a new business venture or are moving an existing company to the area, not only will you need commercial space, but you will also need a place to live.

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS have been the experts in residential real estate for 30+ years. Our Team has over 350 years of combined experience in local real estate. In 2015, Linda had the idea to go above and beyond by creating Craft Commercial.  The team has grown over the past few years and now has combined experience of 200 years in commercial real estate in the Triangle.

Here’s Linda explaining the advantages of full-service real estate provided by our Residential and our Commercial teams.

 

There’s so much to be said for building strong client relationships in real estate versus pushing through transaction-based deals that provide little to no long-term involvement between a broker and a client. The smart business model is one based on developing relationships to ensure that clients will rely on your services year-after-year for all their real estate needs.

Linda explains this concept of communicating effectively and often with clients by providing them with exceptional client support.

 

Whether you are in the market for a home for your family or a home for your business, the teams of Linda Craft & Team REALTORS and Craft Commercial are ready to help you with all your real estate needs. Just go online at lindacraft.com or craftcommercial.com or call us at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS 919-235-0007 or Craft Commercial 919-466-5000. We’re all about providing exceptional service to our clients!

 

3 Reasons Why the Raleigh Area is a Great Place to Relocate

Relocate To Raleigh North Carolina

There’s a lot of buzz about “Best Places to Live” flying around the internet. Without a doubt if you Google “Hottest Housing Markets” you will see Raleigh, NC positioned in the top 10 on most lists depending on what criteria is used. So a safe bet (since you are reading this blog) is that if you are looking to relocate, Raleigh is one of the places you are considering.

What’s so great about the City of Oaks? Well, let’s take a look at why Raleigh continues to be a such great value. Most of these online rankings are based on things like employment opportunities, unemployment rates, average income estimates, housing values, and population growth. Some even take a look at lifestyle factors such as outdoor recreation, restaurants and entertainment, and higher education. So what does it all mean, really?

 

First, You Have to Bring Home the Bacon

Work In Raleigh

Let’s get serious. First and foremost you have to pay the bills, so employment opportunities rank highest on everyone’s list when it comes to relocating. The Triangle area has a reputation worldwide as one of the most progressive, hi-tech, finance, and healthcare hubs. IBM, Cisco, SAS, and Glaxo, Fidelity Investments, Wells Fargo, Lenovo are some of the largest employers in the area. The Triangle also boasts one of the largest entrepreneurial networks in the world with a 30-year track record of successfully nurturing startup companies. These are a few reasons why the unemployment rate is 3.6% – .5% under the national average.

 

Second, Can I Afford a Home in the Triangle?

Can I afford a home?

Yes, housing is tight all over the country. Median home values in the Raleigh area is around $266,000 according to Forbes. So much more affordable than the western part of the country and definitely cheaper than the northeastern part of the US.

Raleigh saw an appreciation rate of 5.9% last year but that’s estimated to level off to 3.7% this year keeping prices from skyrocketing as they have in other parts of the country. With a median household income of $84,288, the American Dream of owning a home is very achievable in Raleigh and the surrounding areas.

 

Third, Will I Enjoy Living in the Triangle?

Fun in the park.

Well, that all depends on your tastes and interests. If you like to be outdoors, enjoy moderate temperatures most of the year, like the beach or the mountains, then you will definitely enjoy this area. Here’s a link to things to do in NC which will help you connect with area offerings.

Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill each house top-ranked universities – NC State University, Duke, and the University of North Carolina. So what? Well, having three college towns means loads of restaurants, entertainment, and SPORTS!!! Where else can you enjoy all the benefits of THREE major universities all within 30 minutes of each other.


Need Help Relocating?

One of the favorite things our agents love about working here is being able to help people relocate to this area. Many have lived here for years; some have lived here all their lives and they have raised their own families here. Wouldn’t a person like that be someone you would trust to share their knowledge of the area with you; helping you to find just the right neighborhood and the right home for you and your family? Give us a call and talk to one of our relocation specialists today!

Thank You to All Our Clients for Another Successful Pie Day!

Pie Day at the Linda Craft & Team office

We truly appreciate all of our clients for helping us remain the #1 real estate team in the Triangle. As a way of saying “thank you” and paying it forwardLinda Craft & Team, REALTORS® has been offering free Thanksgiving pies to all of our past and present clients for years. During last year’s Pie Day, we gave away nearly 700 pies. In 2016, we gave out almost 800 pies to our lifelong clients!

How Do We Accomplish Such a Huge Project?

We firmly believe that relationships make us — and Pie Day — successful. Pie Day would not be possible without the phenomenal team at Costco providing us with hundreds of pies fresh from the oven and ready for our clients to enjoy.

table full of pies from CostcoTo prepare for Pie Day, we work with the team at Costco to place a bulk order for the pies in early October. Our team then reaches out to every single past and current client to ask what flavor of pie they would like, either apple or pumpkin. Then our team sends Costco a final count about a week before Thanksgiving.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we take the Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® moving trucks to Costco, load the pies onto the trucks, unload them back at our office, and make sure the office is ready for Wednesday.

Pie Day is a Team Favorite

Catching up with people we haven’t seen in a while, reconnecting for the holidays, and sending clients home with a delicious pie are the things we enjoy most about Pie Day. This annual event is just one of the many ways that we serve our clients.

Our Clients Enjoy Other Free Perks and Services

Linda Craft and Team photoFor over 30 years, our team has helped people find their ideal home or sell their current home in the Triangle. We’re truly thankful for all of our past and current clients, which is why we are proud to offer free perks and services like client appreciation events and use of our moving truck.

Whether you’re relocating to the Triangle or want to sell your home for top dollar, we can help you achieve your goals in the most efficient and professional manner. Contact us today at 919-235-0007 and we can start building a lasting relationship.

Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts in Robeson County

North Raleigh and Garner civitan club members

As a local business, Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® firmly believes that we should always pay it forward to our community whenever possible.

Earlier in October, Hurricane Matthew damaged homes and businesses in the Triangle area. But in communities south and east of Wake County, in particular Robeson County, the hurricane caused major devastation. Many homes, businesses, and roads flooded, and many homeowners in the Robeson County area are still in shelters weeks after the hurricane dissipated.

The following message is from Catherine Campbell, Area Director of the North Carolina District East Civitan club.

Thanks to Linda Craft & Team from Local Civitan Clubs

truck donated for charityThanks to Linda Craft & Team Realty, the Civitan clubs of Wake and Durham Counties were able to provide a big truck full of desperately needed food, personal care items and clothing to a shelter in Robeson County. This was the hardest hit area from Hurricane Matthew and hundreds of people are still in shelters. We were one of the first trucks to arrive to help these people. We made it known to all volunteers and donors that Linda Craft & Team donated the truck. Because of the horrible plight of our fellow North Carolinians, the truck was offered outside the normal charity practices of your realty company. You are to be commended.

donated goods for Hurricane Matthew reliefFive Civitan clubs in Wake County and three in Durham County quickly put together a plan to help our neighbors. As part of the plan, we sorted the donations into three categories: food, personal care and clothing. The personal care articles included diapers and depends, shampoo, soap and washcloths, towels, mosquito spray and a multitude of other items that are necessary to our lives. Included were a ton of sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases to be distributed to the most elderly, disabled and sickly people in the shelters. A few donors included cleaning supplies for the shelter itself.

Linda Craft & Team truck full of suppliesWe picked up the truck at your office at 9:30 Friday morning. The first stop was in North Ridge where items were collected from neighbors and the North Raleigh and Wake Forest Civitan Clubs. We then proceeded to the South Raleigh Clubhouse where both South Raleigh and Durham had their items ready to load. I thought the truck was full when we left this location. When we arrived in Garner, one smart member pointed out that we needed to ensure that the load didn’t shift and block the door from opening. Ropes were laced to hold the contents and the final 25 bags were loaded. Now the truck was unconditionally fully loaded!

people lining up for Hurricane Matthew reliefOur arrival in Robeson County was met by 25 members from 3 Civitan clubs in Robeson County. These people were overwhelmed with emotion to receive these gifts. Tears were definitely shed. The club members unloaded in just a matter of minutes and put the contents of the big truck into smaller trucks and took them off for distribution. They asked us for this method of giving out the supplies because when the first truck arrived Thursday there was a near riot. People were so desperate to receive these supplies that they were overreacting. We felt very lucky to have locals take care of distribution of the donations.

Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such good, caring citizens in our community. This project would not have gotten done without your help.

Catherine Campbell, Area Director
North Carolina District East Civitan

The Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® Difference

Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® is dedicated to working for the good of our neighbors, our surroundings, and you. We have been helping current residents and home buyers in the Greater Raleigh area for over 30 years. If you are ready to buy a home in the Triangle or ready to sell your home, contact us today at 919-235-0007.

Safety Comes First In Real Estate Professions

Safety & Real Estate

Did you know that more real estate agents die each year showing houses than those killed in dangerous professions, like bull riding, stunt pilots, and motorcycle racers? As of now, 25 REALTORS® have been killed while showing houses. And, this number only increases when you consider all of those who were robbed, assaulted, and faced with other life threatening situations.

With that in mind, many real estate professionals are taking measures to ensure safety for both themselves and their clients. This information, provided by the Linda Craft Team, can help you know what to expect when meeting a REALTOR® in the Triangle and Greater Raleigh Area during your home search.

Meet REALTORS® At Their Office or in Public Spaces

steering-wheel-801994_640Last year the National Association of REALTORS® launched Safety First, where real estate companies mandate that home buyers must meet REALTORS® at their office or a public space, and potential Raleigh home buyers must provide identification.

Open Door was launched to further help protect real estate professionals. Sometimes, meeting at the agent’s office and riding with the REALTOR® can be an inconvenience to either or both parties, especially when the home you wish to view is not nearby. In this case, mortgage companies, title companies, and attorneys register their offices as “open door” places for REALTORS® to meet clients. If your agent requests to meet you at one of these “open door” spaces or their office before heading out to view Raleigh area homes you wish to see, know these are becoming more commonly used safety precautions to protect both parties.

Let the Linda Craft Team Help You Achieve Your Real Estate Goals!

Are you searching for the home of your dreams in the Triangle? Let us help! We pride ourselves in our ability to serve our client’s needs, to include taking the safety precautions to protect both parties. Use these tips for buyers to help you through the process and to ensure a smooth transaction.

Ready to sell your Raleigh area real estate? Home sellers face many of the same safety risks as real estate professionals. Reduce your risk and list your home with the Linda Craft Team, as REALTORS® have more experience in this field and take measures to stay safe on the job.

Where To Find Raleigh, NC Dog Parks?

Lisa Varona and June at Furry 5KHere at Linda Craft & Team, Realtors we are definitely “pet people”. Our team understands the love of a pet and how important of a role they play in our lives.  Raleigh offers three Dog Parks where your dog can socialize, play, and have fun. The links to each park,  great nearby Raleigh neighborhoods, and the rules for attending these parks are found below provided by the City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation websites. The highlights below are taken directly from their site. Enjoy your time at the park & don’t forget treats!

Raleigh Dog Park Rules

Visit this site to learn more about Wake County and Raleigh dog park rules. More details about Raleigh parks are here.

 Millbrook Exchange Park  1905 Spring Forest Road, 27615  (near Millbrook High School).
  • Raleigh’s oldest dog park opened in April 2003.
  • Dogs can roam free off leash
  • Free to the public
  • Water available from faucets and buckets for dogs to drink from
  • Fenced areas for both large and small dogs
  • Wood chip base
  • Lights are provided at night
  • Very close to North Ridge area – great homes!

 

Carolina Pines Park  2305 Lake Wheeler Road, 27603 (near Farmers Market)
  • Dogs can roam free off leash
  • Free to the public
  • Water available from faucets and buckets for dogs to drink from
  • Fenced areas for both large and small dogs
  • Wood chip base
  • Lights are provided at night
  • Find a great home close by at Renaissance Park.
Oakwood Park 910 Brookside Drive, 27604 (downtown near St. Augustine’s University)
  • Dogs can roam free off leash
  • Fenced areas for both large and small dogs
  • Open sunrise to sunset
  • Free to the public year round
  • Aggressive breeds are not allowed
  • Down the road from Historic Oakwood homes

Linda Craft & Team is your area Triangle expert! We know our city and we know real estate! For your home buying and home selling needs, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS is your Triangle area expert. Call us today for a free consultation today! 919.235.0007

Why People Sell Their Wake County Home: The Death of a Loved One

EstateWe are very sorry for your loss and have walked in your shoes with many losses in our families too. It’s not easy.

We all know logically that we are all born to die and even if we believe our loved one has gone to a better place, it is still so hard to say goodbye.

When real estate is involved, it requires a business transaction during a time of grief, which makes it even harder.  You will need the help of an experienced Realtor in Estate Sales and an experienced attorney as well.  We are happy to refer you to a good attorney.

Steps To Take When Listing Your Home After a Loved One’s Passing

Step one in an estate sale is to determine if there is a Will to guide the selling process.  Hopefully the answer is yes.  Everyone needs a Will to avoid long probate and reduce risk of loss to your surviving loved ones.

Step two is to find the Will.  It may be in a safety deposit box at the bank or it may be stored at the Wake County Estate Division.  Wills are not recorded documents and they are not on public record so many families struggle to find the Will as they search file cabinets and boxes.

  •  Quick tip on Will storage: Residents of Wake County may take advantage of free storage offered in the Estate Division at the new court house.  Yes, free and confidential filing of Wills.

Step three has several parts.  That’s why a real estate agent usually becomes involved at this stage  to help find the best solutions.

First, here are a few of the common questions that need answers.  We understand that it can be difficult to act as the Executor and Heir during your time of deep grief but it’s important that these questions are answered:

  1. Is there a surviving spouse and can they afford the house alone? If so, for how long?
  2. Was there no surviving spouse and the house is now vacant? If so, is it still costing money to maintain? You should know: The cost is maintained by the Heirs, not the Estate.
  3. The expenses and maintenance will continue for the Heirs therefore.  Thus, how long before the property realistically will sell?
  4. Can the Heirs afford to maintain the cost of the house until it sells?
  5. In order to net the highest return from the sale, will the Heirs need to invest more of their money into the preparation of the house for sale or sell “as is”?
  6. Is there equity remaining in the home or has the equity already been used from refinance, reverse mortgage or lack of time in ownership to build equity?

 Let’s dig deeper into these common situations and questions

Surviving Spouse

If you are a surviving spouse, be thankful for owning your home in North Carolina. It is a little easier here because even if there is no will, we are a marital interest state. This means the surviving spouse will automatically (and tax free) inherit all NC real estate unless there was a prenuptial agreement in place.  It is wonderful to be free of worry about having a roof over your head but, it may not be a roof you can afford for long on one income. Thus, hard decisions may still be on your shoulders.

Surviving Spouse needing to sell 

Moving away from memories or the burden of caring for the house on one income can cause many people after a death to sell and buy a different home.  Once the decision to sell is made, it can be a very exciting time in your life. Having friends and family members help you in preparation for your move can actually be healing.  It’s another grieving step so that when you get to the new home, you often feel a sense of closure and acceptance with your new norm.  However, if the need to move does not have you excite or if you’re feeling so overwhelmed that putting one foot in front of another is a challenge, then don’t stress or beat yourself up. It’s ok. Everyone goes through grief in their own way and in their own time. It’s ok to go slow as long as you’re moving forward and have the financial resources to carry the cost of the home while you mentally and emotionally prepare for another change.

When you can’t afford the home alone

Unfortunately, many surviving spouses can’t afford to keep their home on one income and therefore have a need to move faster than they may emotionally be prepared for.  I have seen this situation many times and have watched people frozen in grief, hanging on to the memories too long and using savings they need for their future to carry the expenses of a house.  As hard as it is for you, if taking care of the house is an emotional or financial burden, it will only get worse if you don’t take steps to move forward now.  We are very experienced in holding hands and walking people through each step.  Steps such as preparing the home for sale (including help with de-cluttering or necessary repairs) and steps to find a new affordable and burden free home. Please don’t wait too long.  Contact us today for a consultation.  I have watched many surviving spouses make the mistake of waiting too long to move. Let’s weigh the cost together.

Learn more about how to navigate answering these Estate questions by clicking on the button below:

Click Here To See More button

6 Interesting Facts for North Carolina Estates Sales

 Here is some additional information about North Carolina Estate Sales that may help you with the estate sale process in the future:

  1. The executor or executrix is not the seller. They do not own the property. Instead, they are simply facilitating the sale. Seller name on the listing contract and purchase contract should not be the executor name. This is a common mistake.  In 2014, the state of North Carolina adopted new real estate listing and sales contracts allowing entity signatures for estates and corporations.  The executor would sign as executor for the estate of the deceased name on record.
  1. Where there are multiple heirs, many will choose to have a licensed appraiser value the property in addition to a Realtor. We are happy to provide you a list of experienced local appraisers if this is something you wish to do.
  1. Listing a property for sale will require a copy of the death certificate and estate paperwork. In North Carolina, it may take 2 weeks to a month to receive the death certificate from the county. So plan for this carrying expense in your budget as well.

Learn more facts about the estate sale process by clicking on the button below.

Please note: Linda Craft & Team, Realtors is not an attorney or CPA and can’t practice law or accounting.  This information is general in nature and the author, Linda Craft, highly recommends that a professional in the area of law and accounting be consulted.

How Can We Guide You Through This Difficult Time?

We’re here to support you as you balance grief with the need to sell your Wake County home.  Contact us today for expert assistance that will help make the estate sale process as easy as possible for you and your family.

Until next time,

Linda

Why Wake County Home Owners Sell: A New Baby on the Way

Wake County familiesCongratulations! You are having a baby! How exciting this life-changing event will be. When you become a mom and dad, your priorities change drastically. Where you live and how you live will have new meaning and higher importance.

Let’s help you plan ahead by looking at some of the reasons people sell and move when a new little blessing comes into their life. If you’re in the market for a new Wake County home now and plan to start a family soon, this information will help you determine housing priorities, which could protect you from a costly mistake.

6 Reasons Why New Parents in Wake County Sell and Buy New Homes

Here are the top reasons people give for selling and buying a new home after becoming first-time parents:

1. “Our home is too small.” A new baby usually means a need for another bedroom or more room for all the stuff that comes with a growing family. This includes cribs, pack in plays, strollers, high chairs and TOYS! That little baby is small but their needs are not. You may decide to sell and buy a bigger home because you just need more room. Another reason people move into a larger home is because of North Carolina law. Specifically, North Carolina law states that brothers and sisters have to stop sharing rooms at the age of 7.

2. “Our house was right, and now it is totally wrong.” Before children came into your life, that town home, high rise condo or house on the beautiful golf course lot was perfect for you. Now, with baby, it’s not. You quickly realize that your house is not going to work for your family. You need a safe backyard where you can have a play-set as well as room to run and kick a ball without worrying about being hit by a golf ball. The town home will be replaced soon with a detached single family home with a nice backyard. Oh and let’s not forget the grandparents will want to visit more often so a guest room and a bonus room for indoor play will be on your dream list too.

3. “Our floor plan is not right for children.” A few nights of climbing stairs for middle-of-the-night feedings or one virus that has your precious child struggling to breathe and you will realize how far away the first floor master suite is from the children’s rooms upstairs and you will wish you were closer. Many mothers have told me they slept on the floor next to the crib when their baby was sick and were so happy when they bought a new home with all the bedrooms on the same level.

As great as the baby monitor machines are to allow you to hear everything in the baby’s room, it does not help when you are waking up in a dead sleep to climb a flight of stairs. First floor masters are just hard to maneuver with babies and little children. And of course, once they start crawling, safety around stairs is the next concern.

Learn about the last three reasons why new parents give for wanting to sell their homes and buy new ones in Wake County by clicking here.

See All The Reasons button

Here to Help You With Your Wake County Real Estate Needs Through All of Life’s Transitions

To learn more about how to plan your future housing needs around your growing family, contact Linda Craft & TEAM Realtors for a free consultation. We have helped more than 6,000 families buy the right home and would love to share our expertise with you and your friends.

If you know of anyone who has a child or is planning a family, please help them by sharing this information.

Thanks and congratulations in advance on your new baby boy or girl.

Until next time,

Linda

10 Wake County Real Estate Questions to Ask When You Marry

When two people fall in love and decide to get married, where they are going to live together becomes a top priority. Often, both have primary residences which are two small to blend households into one. Even if one home is large enough to accommodate both spouses’ belongings, what was right for each when single, may not be right together.

Therefore, there are many pieces of the puzzle to put together when getting married.  Today, I’m going to discuss with you the top questions you should be able to answer before you sell and buy your new marital home.

10 Questions to Answer Before Selling and Buying Your New Marital Home

1. How much time do we have before the wedding?

What is the wedding date and do you need to sell two homes simultaneously or do you have time to spread out all of these sales and the new purchase over time? After all, getting married is exciting but planning a wedding has a huge to do list. Are you really ready to take on 3 real estate transactions at the same time? To know the answer to this question, we analyze days on market for each home which will vary depending upon price, location and style and we analyze time needed from under contract to close on multiple homes. Most importantly, we help you fully understand all that will be added to your physical and emotional state to prepare you for being able to carry the bride over the threshold of your home together.

2. Does becoming an investor now make financial and emotional sense?

Another exploration would be looking at the possibility of not selling your present homes but keeping one or both homes as an investment. This may be a wonderful time in your life to start building your financial future through owning real estate as an investment. The wealthiest people in the world own real estate as an investment and know the power of having a tenant pay off your mortgages to create future cash flow for retirement.

If this is an option you wish to consider, the consultation would include education on budgeting for landlords and a close look at mortgage qualification. We would analyze rental rates for you area, prepare you for the downside of this long term investment and take a close look at your qualification for originating a new mortgage in which to purchase your marital home. The worst thing you could do is sign a lease on both of your homes thinking you could then buy a new one together and find out you no longer qualify for a third mortgage. Now your homeless and searching for another house to rent instead of buy together.

Many mortgage lenders will not count investment rental income on new landlord/investors until you are “seasoned.” Renting your houses out could push you out of a new mortgage for a year or two until you gain experience and financial proof of managing vacancy and repair cost on your investment properties. Your income, debt and cash flow has to all line up with your emotional tolerance for being a landlord. So if your heart says “Yes” to being an investor in real estate we would refer you to an experienced mortgage lender to assess if this is a financial option for the two of you. Lining up the head and heart is a must do in marriage and investing in real estate too.

3. Which home has the highest probability of selling first?

A market analysis of both homes will show which house has the greatest odds of selling first. We would study past sales in your area, days on market and current absorption rates to help answer who is most likely to need to move first. Getting married is a countdown that works backwards in the timeline and so is selling a house and moving. Knowing the timing of each sale measured against the ultimate goal of having a home to share together after the honeymoon is important information to know up front in your planning. This is one of the many things we help you understand during our consultation.

4. Which home has the Highest Probability of netting the most cash flow?

A market analysis will also determine the cash flow from each home to be used for the purchase of the new home. Many times one property will net more cash from the sale than the other one. Depending upon the financial analysis provided in the consultation along with your mortgage qualification we can work closely with your lender to determine if the cash from one home sold is enough to purchase a new home or if you will need to keep waiting before reaching your goal of a new home together.

Caution: if you are financially able to purchase a new home together without the sale of both homes you may not want to jump into this too soon. If you do buy after selling only one of the two houses you may end up caring two mortgages for a while. With all of the cost associated with a wedding we do not recommend couples begin a new marriage with extra expenses of two houses. Even if you are qualified by a lender to do so it may not make the best financial and emotional sense to start life together still owning two houses and covering the expense of both homes.

Bringing your most recent mortgage balance statement for each property to the consultation is a must to begin the exploration of what each home may net and if you wish to move forward with a purchase after one sale or it is best to wait for both.

5. Should we do all-in or one at a time?

When two houses must be sold before a new home can be purchased we have two choices. Put both houses on the market at the same time so the process does not take as long or take more time by selling each of them one at a time. Some couple decide to sell one now and then take their time on the next sale. This could be a very good decision given the huge to do list required for a wedding however, it would also be wise to look at the pros and cons of market timing and future interest rates. If your wedding is well organized and almost on cruise control until the big day you can probably handle All-In. Both houses are listed for sale at the same time.

6. What should we do about temporary living arrangements and storage

So you have two houses to sell and the first one just got a contract. Where are you going? Let’s reduce stress and plan that in the consultation too.

When the first house sells the owner may decide to move back home with mom and dad for a while, roommate with a friend, or move in with your future spouse. Combining two households into one usually means too much “stuff” squeezed into one house. If that one house is overcrowded it will cause the home to not show as well which usually means longer to sell and at a lower price too. A storage building is most likely going to be needed because houses that show crowded and small will never bring top dollar and you need every penny to pay for the wedding and buy a new home together.

Weighing the pros and cons of storage cost verses sales price will be discussed thoroughly in the consultation. Alternative storage and staging options within the current home that just became more crowded will also be discussed. And, best of all well priced good storage companies will be shared and you can use our moving truck for FREE.

7. How do we prepare the homes to be sold?

There is a true saying that goes like this: “the way we live in a home and the way we show it when we are trying to sell for top dollar are very different”. So a question every home seller seeks an answers to is, what do I need to do to prepare my home for selling? Our stager will visit both homes and prepare a plan for how to use the two homes together to maximize buyer appeal and your sales price. She may suggest storing of some items or moving some items from house to house to enhance each one. Sort of like joining the two of you in marriage makes you one together, many times joining certain furnishing and decorating items can make both homes enriched too. Our stager is a master at this and you can use our moving truck for FREE.

Here are 10 top selling tips to begin your preparation now.

8. How much money are we qualified to borrow together for a new home?

This is really an important step that many home buyers skip. They start by looking at homes on the Internet or driving around call when they see a for sale sign instead of begging with a budget and a prequalification. It is sort of like the old saying; “getting the cart before the horse”. When we meet with new home buyers for a consultation of the home buying process and in this case, the selling process too, we always refer our clients to the best mortgage lenders (link) in the area to get prequalified. It is important to know how much money they will lend to you, what the closing cost are for the new mortgage and how long they will need to process your mortgage and close. The last thing you want is a lender that can’t deliver on time. Imagine your house is packed up, you must move out to give it to the new buyer and you have nowhere to move because your loan is not approved and at the attorney’s office on time to close. Our lenders have great rates, low fees and know they must deliver on time to insure future referrals from our Team.

9. What is important to each of us in our first home together?

This is where the fun really begins. Just as you have dreamed about your wedding day it is now time to dream about your first home together. Here are some things to chat about over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Take your time. Think them through but, don’t forget to call us for a consultation. We have walked beside over 6,000 home buyers and we will offer you more things to consider that we have learned from other couples like you.

  • A. How long will you keep your first home together
  • B. What is important to each of you in the new home? Don’t worry if the list does not match perfectly. You are just normal. Welcome to marriage and opposites attract. Expect your list to vary
  • C. What do we really need and what do we want? Go ahead whoever is the most organized and create a list of each.
  • D. Consider carefully the combining of pets, blended families and commute time of each.

10. How can we begin our new home search and start budgeting for our new life together?

Now that you have all the information you need to make a good business decision on selling it is time to get started looking for your new home. Because of the 9 steps taken before this you can approach shopping for the right home with confidence. You have a solid plan and you know what you need to know about selling, buying and what both of you really feel is important in your first home together. Because of the previous 9 steps you know how long will it take for your homes to sell, what you will net from the sale to use for the purchase of a new home, your budget is set for moving cost and closing cost, the interim move and storage is figured out and you know the price range to shop in that will give you a mortgage payment you can afford. Peace of mind and confidence in a solid plan is yours. So let’s go shopping!

First place to begin your home search is www.lindacraft.com this local website has accurate, real time information on the local market. Avoid all national sites such as Zillow and Truila. Their information is more wrong than right on those sites. Remember, they exist to sell advertising not homes.

When you see a home or two that peaks your interest call your (video link -Exclusive Buyer Agent to preview the property. If your houses are not sold do not spend too much time looking at houses because you can’t buy yet and it will only increase your anxiety and frustration. In North Carolina it is almost impossible to get a seller to hold a house for you until your homes are sold. Our state does not offer contingencies with first right of refusal as other states do. The only way to have a seller hold a house is if you are willing to lose thousands of dollars for a short holding period. We do not advise this.

Finding the right home is a faith walk. You must trust that when you are ready to purchase the right home will appear. It always does.

When an offer comes in on your single homes the closing date can be negotiated to give you more time to shop for the right home. Don’t stress we have a plan to put all the pieces together to make sure the two of you end with a home that you will truly love and enjoy together.

Your Dedicated Wake County REALTORS Are Here to Help You!

For more valuable Wake County real estate tips, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Linda Craft  & Team.  We would love the opportunity to assist you at every stage of the process!