Buying and Selling in Raleigh? Here’s Why It Pays to Have a Professional on Your Side

With all of the latest technology and new ways of buying and selling, you might be wondering: “What benefits do I gain from working with a real estate agent?” While apps and websites may sell an easy real estate process, the truth is that if often ends up being far from that.

If you’re preparing to buy your dream home or sell a home for top dollar in the Raleigh area, here’s why you should enlist the help of an agent.

The Search Process Takes More Than You Think

A man on his laptop.

From starting your search to closing on your home, there are over 230 possible steps you’ll need to take—and when you decide to go it alone, you may end up adding to that number.

Even the search process, as simple as it may seem, is infinitely more complex. Without representation, you likely won’t gain access to information like the property’s public record for ownership and deed type, the land use coding and deed restrictions, or the property’s curb-appeal assessment.

Not only will a skilled agent secure all of that information for you, but they’ll also match you with similar homes that fit your more specific criteria—criteria that you may not find on online searches.

Negotiating Can Be Challenging

Two women meeting and discussing paperwork.

With low mortgage rates and steadily rising housing prices, it’s a prime market for both buyers and sellers. This is good news, but also means you’ll likely be dealing with more competition than usual.

Working with a skilled negotiator can not only be the difference between your offer being accepted or denied, but it can also save you thousands of dollars in the end.

When negotiating a home sale, you’ll have to deal with a number of parties, including the buyer and the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s attorney and lender, and the home inspection company. Every step—from your original offer to the inspection to the closing—demands guidance from an agent who knows their way around the process.

At at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have over 350 years of combined real estate experience—which means countless successful negotiations.

What is Your Home Worth?

The kitchen of a home.

Since mortgage rates have been trending lower than in years past, home prices are veering in the opposite direction. Your agent should have an in-depth knowledge of the greater Raleigh area real estate market, enough to ensure that your home is priced competitively and accurately—or that you’re getting a fair price for your purchase.

In the end, you need an agent who will be transparent with you, even if it means telling you something you may not want to hear.

Enlist the Help of Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®

If you’re in search of local real estate professionals, look no further than Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®. Whether you’re buying and need help navigating the process or selling and hoping for top dollar, our track record of success proves that we have what it takes to achieve your real estate goals.

Interested in learning more about our real estate services? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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.

The Home Buying Debate: 3 Big Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Home

A man and a woman with their arms around each other, looking at the front of the home they've just purchased.

If you’re in the middle of buying a home in the greater Raleigh area, you’ve probably already listened to a lot of unprompted advice. Home-buying, and real estate in general, is one of those topics that elicits some pretty strong opinions.

At the end of the day, however, it all boils down to what you think and what you’re looking for in a home. That’s why I recommend sitting down to ask yourself three big questions before you buy a home.

1. Why are You Buying a Home?

Put aside the financial side of things for a minute. Why do you really want to buy a home? If you have kids, you might be thinking about living within a great school district. If you’re nearing the retirement age, you might want to be closer to your family and friends (as well as your favorite golf course).

It may be for a different reason altogether! There are plenty of reasons to buy a home, and each one is just as valid and important as the last.

In fact, did you know that the top four reasons Americans buy a home, according to a study at Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University are:

  • A good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What non-financial benefits do you hope to gain from owning a home? Those are the most important things to consider when you start searching.

2. How are Home Values Faring in this Market?

Rising house prices. Man is holding green arrow up in his hand and house on the table.

Over the past several years, home values have appreciated steadily. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Existing Home Sales Report median price of homes sold in February was up 3.6% from this time last year.

In their recent Home Price Insights report, Core Logic predicted that home values would rise 4.6% over the next year.

With home prices increasing so steadily, now is the best time to buy. For example, if you’re looking at a home that is worth $250,000 today, it will cost around $11,500 more if you wait until next year to buy it.

3. What are Mortgage Interest Rates Like?

The long-term cost of a home is largely based upon mortgage interest rates, which dictate how much you’ll end up paying every month for your home.

Right now, mortgage rates are at their lowest. However, both the NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association predict that mortgage rates will increase over the next year.

So, now is the time to buy a home and lock in those low mortgage rates! This will ensure a steady, low monthly mortgage payment in the Raleigh market.

How to Know When It’s Time to Buy a Home

Truthfully, only you can know when it’s the right time. Buying a home is a huge decision, and whether or not it makes sense for your right now depends entirely on how you answered those three questions.

Have additional questions about buying a home in Raleigh? Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® is here to help. Give us a call to talk home buying. We’d love to walk you through your different options in the greater Raleigh real estate market.

First Comes Love… then Comes Your First Mortgage Payment!

Every year, the National Association of Realtors® conducts a survey to determine the profile of home buyers and sellers across the country.

The 2018 profile is interesting because the majority of recent homebuyers (a whopping 63%!) are married couples!

The Majority of First-Time Buyers are Married Couples

A married couple standing on the porch of their new home.

It’s true! According to the NAR, 54% of first-time buyers in 2018 were married couples.

However, if you’re still single, there’s no need to worry. 18% of first-time home buyers in 2018 were single women, while 10% were single men. In addition, about 16% of these buyers were unmarried couples.

Homeownership is Within Your Grasp!

Spacious living room with beige sectional sofa and a coffee table.

Even if you haven’t saved up an enormous down payment, you likely still have plenty of options for buying a home in the greater Raleigh area!

Many homes for sale in Raleigh, and the Greater Triangle area, qualify for loans that don’t require huge down payments. You may be able to use an FHA loan or a USDA loan to purchase a home in one of Raleigh’s orbiting cities—in communities like Angier, Fuquay-Varina, and Apex.

These loans are popular because they only require a down payment that’s 1 – 3% of the home’s overall price. And, if you’re in the military, you have even more options!

Let’s Buy Your Dream Home Together

A hand holding a pair of house keys in front of a home.

If you’d like to explore your home-buying options in the greater Raleigh area, please give us a call at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to invest in your fifth real estate property, we have the resources and expertise to assist.

Let’s set up a time to talk about your plans! In the meantime, feel free to explore the Greater Raleigh area with our free home-buying guides.

What to Expect in the 2016 Triangle Real Estate Market

laptop with graph of market changes

The 2015 real estate market saw low interest rates and a healthy supply of homes for new buyers. MLS reported a 9% increase in sales. In 2016, Wake County taxes are set to increase as well as home interest rates, but that should not deter serious home buyers from seeking out new real estate investments.

Wake County Tax and Interest Rates Will Rise

Wake County’s octennial tax reassessment goes into effect in 2016, raising property value and mortgage prices across the county. The Federal Reserve is also anticipated to raise fixed-rate 30-year mortgage rates to 4.2% (from its current 3.92%) by the end of 2016 due to the increase in job availability and economic growth.

Fortunately, both mortgage interest and property taxes are tax deductible every year for homeowners. You can calculate your monthly mortgage payments, as well as find out information about local lenders and mortgage prequalification, on our mortgage information page.

Advice for Closing on a Home Placed Under Contract in 2015

coin stacks increasing in heightIf you are in the middle of a home purchase and have not locked in your interest rate with your mortgage company or checked the new property tax liability against your qualification ratios, you may want to call your lender ASAP.

Mortgage payments are broken down into (PITI) — the Principle down payment, Interest from the lender, property Taxes, and Homeowner’s Insurance. If less than a 20% down payment is made, private mortgage insurance could apply depending upon loan type. Many mortgage programs require the PITI to be less than or equal to 28% of the borrower’s monthly income. If you barely qualified (say at 27%), the increase in property tax could disqualify you for eligibility.

Locked interest rates hold for an average of 60 days, giving you enough time to close without complications.

Outlook for the 2016 Wake County Housing Market

Despite the tax variance and increased interest rates in 2016, the housing market in the Triangle and Wake County looks to remain similar to 2015.

Choose Linda Craft & Team, Realtors

professional group photo of Linda Craft & Team, RealtorsAlthough rates are rising, it is a sign that the economy is doing much better than it has in previous years. The real estate market is stable and finding the home of your dreams will continue to be a solid investment for your future.

When you are ready to take the next step in purchasing a new home, let our experts at Linda Craft & Team, Realtors guide your way. As a team, we are able to fully assist you with all of your real rstate needs, 24 hours a day. Our efforts over the past 30 years have made us the #1 real estate team in the Triangle!

Contact us today at (919) 235-0007 and learn what home buying resources and services we can offer you.

Why Brier Creek is One of Raleigh’s Best Neighborhoods

Before the late 90’s, there were only trees between North Raleigh and Durham along highway 70. The first houses were sold in Brier Creek in the fall of 1999. Today Raleigh’s Brier Creek neighborhood is a popular residential area. Times sure have changed!

Brier Creek is an Ideal Place to Call Home

patio furniture on back porchNow Brier Creek is one of the best neighborhoods in Raleigh and has a ton of homes featuring 2-3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a large deck or porch.

In addition, the amenities, shopping, and proximity to everything you need is perfect for anyone in any stage of life. It’s convenient to Cary, Durham, downtown Raleigh, and Chapel Hill – you’re 20 minutes from anywhere you want to visit! Here’s why Brier Creek is an ideal Raleigh community to call home:

Easy Access around Raleigh

Living in Brier Creek, you’ll have easy access to major highways around Raleigh. I-540, I-40, and US-70 can take you just about anywhere.

You’re just 5 minutes from Raleigh Durham International Airport, 15 minutes to Falls Lake, and are close to downtown Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, or Durham. The possibilities for work and play are endless when you live in this great neighborhood.

Great Shopping and Restaurants Nearby

Just moments from your front door in Brier Creek, you can find the best shopping and dining at Brier Creek Commons and Brierdale Shopping Center. Bars, restaurants, and many professional services are in these shopping centers, along with large movie theaters.

You can also find community events here such as GiGi’s 5K Run/Walk.

And if you’re in the mood for even more fun, head to Frankie’s Fun Park only minutes away.

Spectacular Amenities

One of the best things about your home has to be the location. Brier Creek has it all!

golfers on a putting greenAt the Brier Creek Swim & Tennis Pavilion, both swimming lessons and tennis instruction are available for all ages. Children can enjoy the splash pad and swim team, and everyone can take a fun trip down the water slide.

The fitness center offers state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, including cardio theatre, men & women’s locker rooms, cardio and weights, golf clinics, TRX, Zumba, water aerobics, and fitness evaluations, just to name a few.

Other neighborhood amenities include the country club with spacious banquet facilities, a golf course, and a spa with a steam room and microderm abrasion.

Find Your Dream Home in Brier Creek

Brier Creek is a wonderful neighborhood to call home! If you’re relocating to Raleigh and want to take a personal tour of the neighborhood or a home for sale in Brier Creek, connect with us today at 919-235-0007 and we can schedule a showing at a time that works best for you.

Raleigh’s “Secret” Housing Market

The Property Listings Triangle Area Home Buyers Do Not Know Exist

Magnifying glass on Google logoMany home buyers believe that they can find anything on the Internet, and that if it’s on the ‘net, it must be true.

But about 40% of homes — nearly half —sold in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) area never appear online.

And besides, many of the properties listed on Zillow and other national sites were in fact sold months ago. National real estate websites are concerned with selling advertising, not about helping home sellers find their dream home.

When it comes to searching for your dream home in Raleigh, relying on national sites like Zillow and Trulia is not enough. In fact, you are missing out on a huge portion of available homes and may be viewing homes that are already sold.

How Do Homes Vanish on Zillow?

Let’s first go through the process of listing a home.

Homes Enter the MLS

When a Realtor lists a property for sale, the home enters a private local database called the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. All of the data in the MLS is owned by the local Realtor Association, which is in charge of releasing home data.

Sellers Share Home Data with Zillow

MLS exchanges the active listing inventory with approved real estate firms and Realtors’ personal websites. Here’s where Zillow comes in: A home seller and listing firm can agree to share the data on approved national websites through a process called syndication.

Property Information Breaks Down

But when national sites like Zillow get local real estate data, the information “break downs,” leading to misinformation in the home listings, such as:

  • inaccurate online home values
  • wrong listing agent
  • incorrect contact information

Think of it like a game of telephone. The original message changes every time someone passes it along the line.

This is why new listings are delayed for days or weeks before being posted and sold properties are not updated quickly (if at all).

National re-syndicated sites like Zillow are often the first resources for home buyers, but they should be the last.

Serious Triangle Homebuyers Shop Locally

Person using computer and phone for online searchIf any home in our local real estate market makes its way onto national real estate websites, it’s a second-hand listing. Right now, 25% of the homes that are for sale in our Wake County area never show up on Zillow or Trulia — not at all.

If you’re a Triangle area home buyer and you’re shopping on the national websites for the perfect home, you are missing out on 1 out of every 4 homes for sale, and a lot of the homes you are seeing already have new owners.

Buy Local with Linda Craft & Team

Top-producing real estate teams can deliver home buying resources that can help you find your dream home among Raleigh’s “underground” real estate market, including:

  • new home listings
  • “coming soon” inventory
  • networking connections with other Realtors
  • thousands of off-market homes on MLS

If you want accurate, real-time information on homes for sale, shop locally with Linda Craft & Team. Call or click today to see the other 40% of the real estate market that many Triangle area home buyers do not know exists.