Two surveys of elite Real Estate Brokerages indicate that in 2009, RE/MAX Significantly outperformed its national competitors. To read the full article, please click on the link below.
If you are thinking of Buying or Selling a home, now is a great time! Please contact me at 704-968-1965 for more information.
The Charlotte-area housing market eked out another sales gain in February, despite a dreary economy and nasty weather, and there are signs the upward trend could continue.
To read the full article, please visit: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/03/11/1305536/charlotte-home-sales-manage-another.html
If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, please give me a call. Our Real Estate team is there for you every step of the way. We offer an aggressive marketing program for the homes we sell. We also offer an organized and efficient process when you buy a home with the representation of one of our agents.
For more information on how we can help you, please visit us on the web at: www.CarolinaRealtyTeam.com. You can also contact me directly at 704-968-1965.
Today, many Americans are debating whether now is the time to buy a home. Dave Kansas, writing for the Wall Street Journal, says that during the last few months, home sales data has perked up from very low levels.
He says while the housing market will improve, it’s important to remember it’s highly unlikely there will be return to the housing boom era where home prices soared 20 percent or more per year.
Prospective home buyers should buy carefully. Borrowing too much or utilizing gimmicky mortgages is what got many people into trouble in recent years. Today, be prepared to put at least 20 percent down for the down payment and your budget should account for both monthly mortgage and principle payments.
Know what you want. By doing ample research on what you want and what you can afford, you’ll be ready to buy the home you desire quickly.
Be ready to make the deal. Paying cash, of course, makes it easier to make an incredible deal. As most of us don’t have that kind of cash reserves, the next best thing is to secure a pre-approved mortgage. Having everything lined up before making an offer on a home can strengthen your negotiating position.
Closing costs can be negotiated too. Asking the seller to pay all or some of the closing costs can reduce the sale price.
Get an inspection and make the sale contingent on what you learn. The seller should be responsible for any repairs.
Remember, buying a home is about providing a place for you and your family to live.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are ready to purchase a home and take advantage of the tax credit, please don’t hesitate to call our team. We can be reached in our office at 803-802-0640 and you can contact me directly at 704-968-1965. To view our listings, please visit us online at: www.CarolinaRealtyTeam.com. We look forward to meeting you!
I have found a helpful article from Buffini & Company that helps to make sense of all the bad news we frequently hear about which leads us to ask the question – Are things really getting better?
Newspaper and broadcast outlets tend to emphasize bad news for a couple of reasons. First, many reporters genuinely believe that their mission is to report what people need to know. Among journalists, problems are regarded as more important than positive stories.
Second, among many news reporters and editors, good news generally is considered to be routine, if not boring. The news media is a business competing for ratings and advertising dollars, and emphasis on the negative aspects of their stories tends to be more effective in attracting the interest of their audience. Reports of foreclosures, failing loans, real estate scams and falling prices are emphasized while the good news about the market is frequently down played or even ignored.
You Can Fight Back!
In recent years, there has been a major shift in the way people get their news. Technology has empowered us. Thanks to the Internet, we can reach out to hundreds of sources of information, traditional and nontraditional. Newspapers and their web sites don’t have to be the final destination in the quest for knowledge about current affairs.
A generation ago, news editors often prided themselves in telling readers what they need to know. No more. Newspapers around the country are scrambling to remain relevant by providing the type of content that their readers deem essential.
Increasingly, news web sites are offering links to outside content to help readers conduct their own search for the truth. Blogs have given a voice to thousands of ordinary people. Many online news sites now rank stories according to reader interest and offer online forums where readers can weigh in with their own opinions about news reports.
Our team has added more homes to our listing inventory. Please visit our website at www.CarolinaRealtyTeam.com to see the great real estate deals currently on the market. If you or someone you know is interested in how the Carolina Realty Team can help you successfully buy or sell a home, please call 704-968-1965 and I will be happy to help.
By Dan McLeister
Need help in selecting environmentally friendly flooring? Think green.
No, we’re not talking Astroturf here. In this case, “green” means the use of environmentally friendly materials that are either readily renewable or made from recycled products. Several green certification programs and directories are available to help remodelers, builders and homeowners make that selection.
For example, the National Wood Flooring Association looks to The Forest Stewardship Council to certify wood flooring products as green when the material comes from forests operated under sustainable forest management practices. Other organizations, such as BuildingGreen Inc. (http://www.buildinggreen.com), publisher of the GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building News, qualify and list other green flooring alternatives, such as natural linoleum, cork and concrete
For the complete story, please visit:
Thinking about buying or selling? Call Becky Smith of RE/MAX Metro and Carolina Realty Team at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com
More wealth is created when you buy at the bottom of a real estate cycle instead of at the top.
The market has shifted from its peak a few years back, and there is strong evidence that we are now at the bottom of the cycle. In looking toward the future and at certain economic indicators, you can see that now is the time to get ready for the next housing boom.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW…
Households continue to increase
The population in America continues to rise and with it the creation of new households with housing needs. According to conservative estimates, the number of households is expected to increase by 1.25 million annually over the next decade.
Here come the Echo Boomers
Echo Boomers Are Entering the Housing Market.
They are primarily the offspring of the nation’s largest generation, the baby boomers…and there are a lot of them. The echo boomers are entering their peak household formation years with close to 6 million more people than the baby boomers had during the 1970s.
…The number of echo boomers will increase and maintain a strong demand for housing in the years to come.
When Supply is Low, Demand is High.
Builders have cut back on building new homes to record lows. Based on annual household formations and approximately 300,000 home demolitions, we need between 1.3-1.7 million new homes built every year. In 2008, developers only built 892,800 units. The actual numbers for 2009 have not yet been released, but the estimate appears to be in the 500,000s…
Consider These Booming Factors –
1. Markets are currently much closer to balance
2. Existing homes sales are improving in the hardest hit states
Thinking of Buying or Selling a home? Give me a call today at 704-968-1965 or email me at: email@example.com.
Although there are some remodeling projects that do not offer a return on investment, there are 10 listed below that can make a big difference when you decide to sell your home which can make your home more appealing to potential purchasers. Source: Realtor Magazine
1. Tidy up kitchen cabinets.
2. Add or replace tile.
3. Add a breakfast bar.
4. Install granite tile instead of a slab.
5. Freshen up a bathroom without retiling.
6. Freshen up the basement.
7. Add a room.
8. Spruce up Cabinet Fronts.
9. Replace light fixtures.
10. Tech-up the garage.
These budget minded enhancements can really make your home standout. If you decide to list your home for sale with my team, we can also provide a certified Home Staging Coordinator to help you add the finishing touches to make your home stand out above the competition.
To schedule a listing appointment with me, please contact me at 704-968-1965. I look forward to speaking with you.
Mortgage rescue: Credit score killer
By Tami Luhby, senior writerDecember 28, 2009: 8:37 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Most troubled homeowners view President Obama’s foreclosure rescue plan as a way out of their financial troubles.
But many don’t realize that entering a trial mortgage modification can actually hurt their credit.
For the full story, go to http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/28/news/economy/loan_modifications_credit_history/index.htm
Buying or selling in your plans for 2010? Call Becky Smith of Carolina Realty Team and RE/MAX Metro at 803-804-3375 or e-mail Becky@CarolinaRealtyTeam.com.
This is a helpful article in Realtor magazine provided by Ed Butler of Starkey Mortgage.
Are you looking to buy a new home? Are you thinking that now’s a great time to find bargains? Before you make an offer, it pays to know a little about the seller’s situation.
If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property—and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing—the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.
A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller’s lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.
You’re a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:
You’re very patient. Even after you come to agreement with the seller to buy a short-sale property, the seller’s lender (or lenders, if there is more than one mortgage) has to approve the sale before you can close. When there is only one mortgage, short-sale experts say lender approval typically takes about two months. If there is more than one mortgage with different lenders, it can take four months or longer for the lenders to approve the sale.
Your financing is in order. Lenders like cash offers. But even if you can’t pay all cash for a short-sale property, it’s important to show you are well qualified and your financing is set. If you’re preapproved, have a large down payment, and can close at any time, your offer will be viewed more favorably than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.
You don’t have any contingencies. If you have a home to sell before you can close on the purchase of the short-sale property—or you need to be in your new home by a certain time—a short sale may not be for you. Lenders like no-contingency offers and flexible closing terms.
If you’re serious about purchasing a short-sale property, it’s important for you to have expert assistance. Here are some people you want to work with:
Experienced real estate attorney. Only about two out of five short sales are approved by lenders. But a good real estate attorney who’s knowledgeable about the short-sale process will increase your chances getting an approved contract. Also, if you want any provisions or very specialized language written into the purchase contract, a real estate attorney is essential throughout the negotiation.
A qualified real estate professional.* You may have a close friend or relative in real estate, but if that person doesn’t know anything about short sales, working with him or her may hurt your chances of a successful closing. Interview a few practitioners and ask them how many buyers they’ve represented in a short sale and, of those, how many have successfully closed. A qualified real estate professional will be able to show you short-sale homes, help negotiate the purchase when you find the property you want to buy, and smooth communications with the lender. (All MLSs permit, and some now require, special notations to indicate that a listing is a short sale. There also are certain phrases you can watch for, such as “lender approval required.”)
Title officer. It’s a good idea to have a title officer do an initial title search on a short-sale property to see all the liens attached to the property. If there are multiple lien holders (e.g., second or third mortgage or lines of credit, real estate tax lien, mechanic’s lien, homeowners association lien, etc.), it’s much tougher to get that short sale contract to the closing table. Any of the lien holders could put a kink in the process even after you’ve waited for months for lender approval. If you don’t know a title officer, your real estate attorney or real estate professional should be able to recommend a few.
Some of the other risks faced by buyers of short-sale properties include:
Potential for rejection. Lenders want to minimize their losses as much as possible. If you make an offer tremendously lower than the fair market value of the home, chances are that your offer will be rejected and you’ll have wasted months. Or the lender could make a counteroffer, which will lengthen the process.
Bad terms. Even when a lender approves a short sale, it could require that the sellers sign a promissory note to repay the deficient amount of the loan, which may not be acceptable to some financially desperate sellers. In that case, the sellers may refuse to go through with the short sale. Lenders also can change any of the terms of the contract that you’ve already negotiated, which may not be agreeable to you.
No repairs or repair credits. You will most likely be asked to take the property “as is.” Lenders are already taking a loss on the property and may not agree to requests for repair credits.
The risks of a short sale are considerable. But if you have the time, patience, and iron will to see it through, a short sale can be a win-win for you and the sellers.
* Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and is bound by NAR’s strict code of ethics.
Note: This article provides general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter. Laws vary from state to state. For advice on a specific matter, consult your attorney or CPA.
The Ed Butler Team is one of our preferred lenders. If you would like more information on purchasing a Short Sale property, please contact me today 704-968-1965 for a free consultation. The Carolina Realty Team and the Ed Butler Team are working together to ensure your next Real Estate transaction is a successful and hassle free experience.
- Wait 30 days before buying anything you don’t absolutely need; chances are the urge to buy it will pass if you wait, and if not, you may find the item on sale.
- Avoid temptation by opting out of catalogs or e-mail announcements from companies trying to sell you things you don’t really need.
- Purchase birthday and holiday gifts throughout the year and keep them in a designated box or closet; making a list of every one’s special occasion needs will make it easy to take advantage of sales.
- Try frugal gift-giving, like giving the gift of spending time with someone, giving something you baked or made yourself or helping them out with a project; it doesn’t have to cost a lot to be a generous gift.
- Create a sleeve for your credit card(s) with pictures of things you really care about to remind you of what you are saving for…or the debt you’re paying off.
- Exchange your books, DVDs, CDs, video games and other items with friends and family, or use an online service to swap or sell.
- Prevent unnecessary or poor-quality home and auto repairs by finding skilled, honest professionals from a trusted source.
- Evaluate your cell phone plan options regularly to make sure they match your needs; check to see if another plan would save you money. Also get rid of the excess channels on your cable package that you rarely watch; it’s cheaper to rent a movie once in a while.
- Start shopping for airline tickets about four months before departure; look for trends and use technology like e-mail alerts to help you see when your destination has the cheapest airfare.
- Use flexible spending accounts to pay certain medical, dental and child care expenses using pre-tax dollars; check with your HR department for more information.
- Save on your insurance premiums by paying them annually or semi-annually instead of monthly or quarterly.
Consider buying pre-owned; you can buy almost anything in a resale environment locally or online at a great price.
Don’t Get Ripped Off.
With businesses focused on increasing profits, it’s an everyday battle to hold onto your hard earned dollars.
Consider These Facts:
- Banks, thrifts and credit unions take in billions each year on fees. In 2006, they took in $36 billion, up from $24.4 billion in 2000.
- In 2003, credit card companies made $20.7 billion in credit card fees.
- The value of unused gift cards was estimated to be $8 billion in 2006.
- A recent study by Consumer Reports found that 25 percent of rebates are never claimed.
- Approximately 78 percent of cell phone minutes paid for remain unused.
There are many ways to save money these days. Buying Real Estate is still a great investment and it is important to take advantage of the new Tax Credits that are available if you qualify for them. Please contact me at 704-968-1965 for more information on the new Tax Credits available and to see if you qualify. Don’t wait to long. Rates are still low, but they will not be for long.