The Biggest Reasons Why Homeowners are Happy… and Renters Aren’t

Coffee or tea? Cake or pie? Rent or buy? Life is full of big questions—some a little harder to answer than others. But in the case of renting versus buying, there are a few big reasons why ownership still wins the battle.

Thinking about making the jump from renting to owning? Here’s how your life might change.

Does Owning Make You Happier than Renting?

A family with pets.

That’s the big question posed by the most recent Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report. The answer? A resounding yes. In fact, out of the modern homebuyers interviewed, 93% of respondents said that owning a home made them happier than renting, and 83% said that they would never go back to renting after owning.

It doesn’t just end with happiness, though—79% of homeowners believe that buying their own property has changed them for the better and 88% say it’s the best decision they’ve ever made.

On the flip side, according to the latest Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, 45% of renters regret not buying, with the biggest reasons being lack of customization opportunities, high rent payments, and lack of private outdoor space.

The Effects of Owning a Home

A grandmother and granddaughter.

You hear a lot about the financial equity of owning a home, but Bank of America’s survey sought out information on the “emotional” equity of ownership—which brought up some interesting numbers.

When asked if they viewed the home as a place to make memories or a financial investment, more than half of respondents chose the former. After buying, more than 76% of people pursued new hobbies—including landscaping and gardening, cooking and baking, and interior design.

And it’s not just the individuals: family relationships also benefited. Homeownership allowed 49% of respondents to entertain more often and 24% to bring the entire family under one roof.

Current Homeowners versus Prospective Homeowners

A house.

If you’re still on the fence about buying a home, consider these numbers:

  • Time spent pursuing hobbies
    • Current homeowners: 82%
    • Prospective homeowners: 63%
  • The quality of social life
    • Current homeowners: 78%
    • Prospective homeowners: 58%
  • Financial well-being
    • Current homeowners: 77%
    • Prospective homeowners: 42%
  • Quality of life overall
    • Current homeowners: 88%
    • Prospective homeowners: 70%

Ready to Become a Homeowner?

Owning a home comes with a myriad of benefits—both financial and emotional. If you’re ready to take the leap into homeowning, then congratulations!

At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS ®, we’re dedicated to not only finding you the best Triangle-area home for your wants and needs, but also ensuring that your journey is seamless and stress-free. Browse some of the resources we have to offer our buyers, and use our specialized home search tool to narrow down your options. Once you’re ready to get started, just give us a call!

Ace Your Real Estate Experience: A+ Reasons to Hire an Agent

In a lot of ways, buying and selling a home is like a test. You want to make sure you study up on all of the materials and have the right supplies before you get started.

But maybe most importantly, you want to make sure you have a teacher that can guide you through the material in a way that’s easy to understand and sets you up for success.

If you’re on the fence about hiring an agent to help you buy or sell your home, here are a few ways we can help you ace the process.

Decode Contracts

Paperwork.

During the real estate journey, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of paperwork. Sometimes it’ll be easy to understand, but other times, all of that jargon will probably look like a foreign language—especially if it’s your first time.

We’ll make sure you’ll know exactly what the papers say, why they’re necessary, and what they mean for you.

Breeze through Negotiations

People shaking hands across a table.

If you aren’t used to negotiating, then this step in buying or selling a home can be tough to handle—especially since you’ll be emotionally invested in the process.

When you work with an experienced realtor, we’ll act as a buffer between you and the other party. Not only will we work to get the best deal possible for your wants and needs, but we’ll also provide a level-headed perspective.

Understand Pricing

People pointing at a laptop screen.

If you’re selling your home, then finding the right price is the key to success. Price too low, and you won’t maximize your investment. Price too high, and you’ll miss out on buyers—and maybe even have to bring your price down.

Luckily, we can make sure you have the right price from the get-go. With our home valuation, we’ll take into account all of the local and national real estate trends, as well as any updates you’ve made to your property.

When it comes to buying, we can also help you figure out whether you’re getting a fair price for your purchase. The last thing you want to do is spend your hard-earned money on a home that isn’t worth it!

Translate Market Conditions

People in a meeting.

Did you know we’re in a period of nearly unprecedented drops in mortgage rates? That home prices have been steadily ticking up this year? That more and more millennial buyers are entering the market?

We know all about the intricate details that make up the market conditions. These details can help decide everything from how high you can price your home to how long it’ll sit on the market. Before you even list or start searching, we can breakdown what the current conditions mean for your experience.

Benefit from Experience

People getting keys to a home.

Above all, we know the ins and outs of buying and selling. We’ve been around the block more than a few times—after all, our team does have hundreds of years of combined experience in real estate—so we know exactly what it takes to be successful.

You might have other options when it comes to real estate professionals in the Triangle, but if you get to know a little more about our team, you’ll start to understand why our clients swear by us.

Don’t Flunk Your Real Estate Journey

If real estate is like a test, then we think we can help you ace it. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have years of experience with buying and selling homes in Raleigh—meaning we know exactly how to handle whatever the market throws at us.

Take some time to explore our resources, whether you’re buying, selling, or just exploring the area, and give us a call when you’d like to get started!

The 2 Biggest Buying Myths—And Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them

Buying a home is a major decision—one that you should spend plenty of time thinking about. But for many people, that thinking stage quickly becomes filled with anxieties—about money, about mortgages, about lenders—and they may decide to postpone their buying plans.

At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we want to break some of the negative stigma around the buying process. Here are the top two myths that scare away buyers and why you shouldn’t believe them.

Myth #1: The 20% Down Payment

Professionals meeting at a bank.

While a 20% down payment is preferred, it’s far from required—even though 22% of renters and 31% of homeowners believe that it is! In fact, buyers often overestimate how much they need for a home—so much so that it delays their plans.

A recent report from Freddie Mac found that if a 20% down payment was actually required, 70% of people planning on buying the next three years would delay their purchase. Not only that, but 30% of buyers said they would never be able to afford a home under those conditions.

In reality, there are a number of programs available to buyers that help lower your down payment, from VA loans to FHA loans. Give us a call, and we can help you figure out what you qualify for.

Myth #2: The Stellar Credit Score

A person holding out a credit card.

Many people think a “good” credit score is right around 780—and that you need a “good” credit score to qualify for a loan. But according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report, that number is way above average. In fact, over 50% of approved mortgages had credit scores anywhere between 600 to 749—way below what most people consider “good.”

Even if you don’t have an outstanding credit score, odds are, it’s still good enough to snag the right financing. Need some tips on upping your credit score? Just reach out to my team, and we’ll help you out!

Don’t Let Buying Myths Hold You Back

Buying a home is certainly a tricky process, but it’s often more attainable than people think—especially when you work with a professional. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have over 100 years of combined real estate experience around the Triangle, and we’d love to leverage our skills to help you find your dream home.

Take some time to explore our resources for buyers, and give us a call when you’re ready to learn more about your buying options!

Is Moving in with Your Family the Latest Real Estate Trend?

Moving back in with your parents after a few years? You’re certainly not the only one!

Maybe your loved ones are growing older, and you want to spend more time with them, or they need a little extra help around the house. Maybe finances are tight, and you’re saving up for your own place.

Whatever your reasoning may be, multigenerational households are on the rise—and they provide some major benefits.

The Basics of Multigenerational Housing

A grandmother, grandson, and daughter sitting by the water.

The only qualification for a home to be multigenerational is, well, there’s more than one generation under the roof—whether it’s parents and adult children, adult grandkids and their grandparents, or any other combination.

Until recently, multigenerational households hadn’t been popular—or even common—since the 1950s, when around 21% of the population lived in a multigenerational home. That number continued to tick down over the years, but as of 2009, it’s been on the rise.

Currently, around 20% of the population lives in a multigenerational home, making it the second-highest percentage in recent history!

Reasons Behind Multigenerational Housing

Grandparents holding their grandchildren.

There are several major reasons why people have started moving back in with older family members. The most common reason is to take care of aging parents (26%), closely followed by spending time with parents in general (14%). Previously, adults ages 85 and older were most likely to live in multigenerational homes. Now, the title goes to young adults ages 25 to 29.

Additionally, growing diversity may play a part in those numbers. According to the Pew analysis, Asian and Hispanic populations—both of which have grown rapidly—are more likely than others to live in multigenerational homes, coming in at 29% and 27% of the population, respectively.

Lastly, student loan debt might be a big factor in multigenerational homes. For people ages 22 to 35, 83% blame their student loans for preventing home ownership. Seeing as how the average borrower owes over $30,000, they might be onto something!

The Surprising Benefits

A daughter and mother sitting on a park bench.

Not only do multigenerational households make financial sense for many people, they also boast a number of benefits. According to a study from the University of Oxford, children who grow up close to their grandparents often have fewer emotional and behavioral problems and can cope with traumatic events better. Also, researchers from Boston College found that when adult grandkids have close bonds with their grandparents, both groups report reduced depressive symptoms.

Understanding the benefits helps put into perspective why a staggering 41% of Americans are now in the market to buy a multigenerational home!

Linda Craft on Multigenerational Housing

Find Your Multigenerational Home in Raleigh

Raleigh has a wide variety of large, private homes for sale, perfect for multigenerational housing. If you’re looking to make the move with a few family members, then Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® is more than happy to help.

Explore all of your home-buying options in Raleigh, browse our helpful resources, and give us a call today to get started!

Breaking Down Housing Affordability: The Bottom Line for Buyers

As of late, there’s been a lot of buzz about home prices going up, and a fair amount of anxiety about what that means for buyers. While some headlines have been announcing an “affordability crisis,” that’s perhaps an over-sensationalization of current conditions.

If you’re worried about not being able to afford a home in the greater Raleigh area, here’s why you may not need to be as concerned as the headlines would lead you to believe.

What’s the Housing Affordability Index?

A man looking at charts and graphs on his laptop.

Every month, the National Association of Realtors crunches the numbers to create a Housing Affordability Index. This index measures how affordable it is for a family with a typical income to purchase a median-priced home, assuming a 20% percent down payment.

The index uses the number 100 as a starting point, and the higher the index gets, the more affordable homes are.

What the Index Has to Say

This year, the index is at 153, which is higher than it ever was from 1990 to 2008. The periods when the index was higher than it is today—2009 to 2017—were right on the heels of the housing crash, so the purchase of distressed and discounted properties was a frequent occurrence.

In fact, this year’s number is five points higher than last year’s, meaning 2019 has been more affordable for homebuyers than 2018!

Now is a Great Time to Buy

People receiving the keys to a home.

With low mortgage rates and affordable home prices, right now is a great time for buyers. If you’re in the market to purchase a home soon, you should take advantage of these favorable conditions while you can, and kick off your search process.

Find Your Dream Home in the Raleigh Area

With years of experience in Raleigh real estate, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® is more than prepared to help you find your new home in Raleigh. Take a look at a few of the resources we have to offer, and give us a call when you’re ready to start seeing a few homes in person!

Strong Investment Strategy: Why Real Estate is one of the Most Popular Long-Term Investment Choices

A man pointing to a graph representing the rise of the real estate market.

When it comes to investments, real estate proves to be one of the most successful and worthwhile in the long run. According to Gallup, real estate is the top investment choice among survey respondents—beating out stocks, gold, and savings accounts.

This has been the case for the last six years. During the time of the recession, specifically from 2008 to 2010, most respondents cited CDs or savings accounts as the best form of long-term investment. But with the economy, and the housing market, recovered, real estate has once again become the number one investment.

The Many Benefits to Investing in Real Estate

There are a number of benefits to investing in real estate over the stock market or gold. If you invest wisely, and in a market as popular as Raleigh’s, you may be able to set up a steady cash flow to supplement your income.

In addition to monthly cash flow, here are some of the best benefits to investing in real estate in Raleigh.

Financial Security

A woman holding several hundred dollar bills.

Owning a property and then renting it out to tenants may yield longstanding financial security. Once you purchase the property, you can use monthly rent collected from tenants to pay off the mortgage—building equity and wealth for yourself as the investor.

Given the market’s positive upward growth, your investment property is likely to appreciate in value over time—meaning a greater return on your initial investment.

Tax Benefits

Owning an investment property in Raleigh and renting it out may yield tremendous advantages come tax time. Rental income is not subject to self-employment tax, which can be hefty.

In addition, you may be eligible for tax breaks for property maintenance, depreciation, insurance, and other factors that come with being a homeowners.

Supplemental Income

A happy couple standing in front of their home.

Without a doubt, the best part of investing in real estate is the additional monthly income. After your property’s mortgage is paid off by your tenants, you’ll have a tidy sum of money to do with as you please!

Put it in a savings account, use it to perform maintenance or upgrades on your primary residence, or re-invest it back into the market! Make your money work for you in real estate.

Ready to Invest in Raleigh Real Estate?

Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® is here to help. As longtime Raleigh and Triangle-area real estate agents, we have years of experience investing in the market.

Give us a call today to explore your real estate options in Raleigh! In the meantime, check out our home-buying and local area resources.

Home Seller Perspective: The 3 Most Common Reasons for Selling

Two older adults holding hands.

Selling your home is a big decision. After all, it involves pricing your home, staging it to perfection, negotiating with the buyers, and executing the perfect sale. Plus, once you finish all of that, you’re tasked with relocating!

While moving can be challenging, it’s not impossible. And, oftentimes, a sellers’ reasons for listing their home far outweigh any of the stresses involved with selling and relocating.

Interested in knowing why so many homeowners are choosing to sell? Here are the top three reasons for selling a home, broken down by age.

Upsizing

According to the National Association of Realtors’ Generational Trends Report, younger homeowners (aged 29 to 53) cited needing more space as a reason for selling their home.

Eventually, your needs outgrow the size of your “starter home.” Whether you want to add in a home office, plan for a growth in your household, or adopt a dog, needing more space in your home as you get older is a common reason for selling.

Relocating for Work

Two adults shaking hands.

Finally, after years of applying and working, you’ve finally landed your dream job! The only catch: it’s in another state or city. For homeowners aged 54 to 63, this is the most common reasoning for selling one’s home.

Relocating for your dream job can be tricky. Let us know if you’d like help planning your upcoming move, or searching for homes in your new area!

Moving to Be Closer to Friends and Family

For homeowners over the age of 64, moving “to be closer to friends and family” is the most common reason for selling a home. Oftentimes, as homeowners grow older and enter retirement, they find that they don’t need quite as much space as they once did.

This, combined with the desire to be closer to extended family and friends, is a highly compelling reason to sell your home and relocate.

Tips for Selling Your Home

Interested in selling your Raleigh home? No matter your reasons, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS® is here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about our unique home-selling programs.

Need to sell in a hurry? We can help with that as well! Browse our site and check out our free home-selling resources today to learn more.

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.

Working with Us, Versus the Competition, to Sell Your Raleigh Home

Selling a home is a complicated, and time-consuming process. When done correctly, however, it can transform your life for the better and help you build long-term wealth.

As such, we believe that it’s important to work with a certified expert to sell your home in the greater Raleigh area. That’s why we’d like to take a minute to show you the proven benefits to working with our team.

Our Experience Shines

White home entrance with luxury features.When you tally up the experience of every single person on our team, you get more than 350 years of direct experience selling homes in the Triangle.

Compare that to 50% of Triangle area agents with less than 5 years of experience.

Plus, our experience includes:

Negotiating

This is a big part of selling real estate! You have to know how to negotiate with the buyer for the best possible outcome. Our team has negotiated and closed over 10,000 real estate transactions.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the average Realtor sells about 6 houses per year.

Pricing

Our Exclusive Listing Partners specialize in pricing homes all day, every day. We specialize in focused expertise, which is why each of our listing specialists is able to close 20 times more homes than the average agent.

We list and sell over 100 homes each year, and have correctly priced and closed over $2 billion in real estate.

Handling Contracts

A stack of papers sitting on a desk that reads "Real Estate Purchase Agreement."It’s no secret that selling a home comes with a lot of paperwork. Luckily, at Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, our 30+ years of experience handling more than 10,000 contracts in the Triangle gives us the expertise to help you with all the disclosures and paperwork necessary in today’s heavily regulated environment.

An In-Depth Understanding of Market Conditions

When it comes to any business decision, we firmly believe that knowledge is power. That’s why we aim to empower our clients with a pre-listing consultation in order to fully understand today’s market conditions and the best ways to succeed in the Raleigh real estate market. Over the past 30+ years, we have used our in-depth market expertise to help our clients win during the toughest times in history (think the Savings and Loan Crisis, the Dot Com Bust, and the devastating Mortgage Crisis of the 2000s).

In a good market we leverage all our past experience and knowledge to assure the best results for our clients. Our team wins when our clients win!

Here’s a Breakdown for You

Of all the advantages that come from working with our team, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®:

  • Experience of over 30 years in this area
  • Proven track record of bringing their clients success with over 10,000 homes closed
  • Unsurpassed world wide marketing causing their listings to sell faster
  • Expert negotiations that net our sellers higher returns on one of their largest investments
  • Dedicated closing manager so no detail is missed that could cause closing delays
  • Free staging advice from a professional home stager
  • Professional photography and drone photography
  • Appraiser for accurate square footage and compliance
  • Free moving truck, notary service, and shredding service
  • Vacant home service by a trained and dedicated team member
  • Fix and Flip interest-free financing
  • When you choose Linda Craft & Team you are supporting a local, woman-owned business
  • Invitations to client appreciation events all year long
  • Referrals to home-care professionals offering discounts

Ready for Real Estate Success in the Triangle?

We’re ready to help. Give our team a call today to learn more about your options for selling your home for top dollar in the Greater Raleigh Area.