Information for Home Buyers in the Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, Apex, Morrisville areas of Wake County in the Triangle, NC

Home buyers beware of your competition

What’s that you ask?  There’s such a thing as home buying competition?

There sure is and the competition is heating up here in the Triangle.  With our home inventory at the lowest it has been in the past decade, there is an undercurrent of urgency developing for home buyers.

Here’s a real life scenario:  A couple were out with their Realtor® over the week-end.  Let’s call them Jane & Bill. They found a home that they both just fell in love with.  It’s perfect.  It has the rooms they both need, and that extra bonus.  Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 7.55.30 AM

But they wanted to sleep on it, and perhaps see what else is out there…  

OOPS – that was a huge mistake… here’s the rest of the story:  There was another couple also falling in love with their perfect house.  And that other couple didn’t wait.  They were savvy buyers and they got their offer in immediately.  So guess what happened once Bill & Jane realized there wasn’t anything better than that house?  When they finally decided to put in an offer here’s what they heard;  Sorry that home is already under contract.

Ouch! We are out of the luxury of ‘sleeping on it’.  As the real estate markets across the country start to make their way out of a sleepy slump, buyers really do have to make and stick to a buying plan.

Here’s what you need to do.

  • Use the internet – let your fingers do the walking and preview homes online.  You will get the feel of what is available in your price range and location.  So when you are out previewing homes, you’ll know when you’ve found your perfect home
  • Be realistic ~ and not idealistic when looking at homes
  • Meet with your lender and get your pre-approval up front
  • Start doing your due diligence and gather information about the area you’re looking in
  • Be pro-active. Let your agent advise the sellers/seller’s agent that you are interested in their home.  This is no time to play coy.

If it’s really a home you love; write that offer immediately – don’t wait! 

It won’t take you long to learn that your competition in buying a home is other buyers.  We really hate to see people loose out on getting their dream home just because they weren’t prepared. Don’t let that happen to you!

We’ve got more home buying tips if your interested.  Or why not just subscribe to our blog right over on the right…

3 home buying pitfalls you can avoid

Buying a home today isn’t rocket science.  However home buying pitfalls that lurk in the process are mind boggling.  Even for an expert. Here are 3 pitfalls you can avoid…

3 home buying pitfalls to avoid

Home buying pitfalls to avoid

I can’t imagine someone meandering through the landmines of ambiguities of buying a home without an advocate.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been a REALTOR® for over a decade and I have seen these things happen.  They happen very innocently, but the ripples are so uncomfortable for you the buyer, when it’s your situation! Below are 3 home buying tips to help. We’d all love the world to turn smoothly and that includes when buying a home.  But when it doesn’t, it can become very disruptive and very unsettling.  There are real hidden issues that do come up and cause not only a loss of sleep, time, and money, but a potential legal suit as well. So what can you do?  Take a deep breathe;  and do your homework with your agent during your due diligence period.  There is a ton of information for potential home buyers to gather, and even more that their agent can get.  Research the bejeebers out of the home and don’t quiet that little voice in your head if something doesn’t feel right! Then sit down and discuss what’s real, what’s important, and what needs more clarification with your agent. Here’s some home buying tips I’d like to share…

Home Buying Pitfall #1 County tax records…

Are they perfect? No, but if there is a discrepancy between what’s on that MLS sheet and what’s on the county records, someone better question it.  Is there a big difference in the square footage?  That might indicate that the seller has done some adding on without pulling the proper permits.  Oh no problem you say, well think again.  It’s a very big problem.  If permits weren’t pulled, it didn’t pass city/county inspections.  If if didn’t pass city/county inspections and god forbid something happens, your insurance may not cover you.  If a fire were to start due to a faulty breaker or electrical error and the work was done by Uncle Al – there’s a very BIG problem…  

Home Buying Pitfall #2 What about homes that are renovated?

Be sure to know the effective date of the home, and not be fooled by looking at the brand new package with gleaming hardwood floors and granite counters.  The year could be wrong on your MLS sheet. Homes bought, renovated, and flipped are candidates for well you’ve heard the saying before; putting lipstick on a pig.  

Home Buying Pitfall #3 Well and Septic Permits… 

Then there’s the number of bedrooms in the home. Well and septic tanks here in Wake County real estate are fairly common. So watch for another common mistake in the number of bedrooms being stated on the MLS sheet. Verify that the number of bedrooms listed on the MLS sheet match the number of bedrooms that the septic permit was pulled for.  Oh, that’s not a problem either because there aren’t any septic police I hear you say.  That might be true for the system itself, but when it comes time for YOU to sell you won’t be able to advertise it without repercussions as a 4 bedroom if the permit is pulled for only 3 . So make sure that you have chosen an agent that will do the homework necessary for you once you’ve narrowed down your search to just that perfect one.  Because it’s after you’ve had the fun of ‘looking’ and picking the one home you love that you will be so happy that you have an experienced agent working for you; making sure you’ll get to closing AND enjoy that lovely home for years to come…

What’s the #1 pitfall when buying a home? The closing date.

Gorgeaus Home in Fuquay VarinaBuying a house isn’t that hard really.  But believe it or not the #1 pitfall when buying a home is the closing date.

Pick a bad date and the process can be brutal. I’m scratching my head over what it takes to get a real estate transaction CLOSED in today’s real estate market! Not sure how anyone would chance selling their home on their own.  It has become a mine field that really does require some very experienced professionals to get the job done.

Here’s what happened… We had given ourselves what we thought would be plenty of time to do our due diligence; we even cleared the closing date with the lender. But here’s an example of an ‘out of the blue’ scenerio that really happened

Sold a gorgeous home to a great couple relocating here from Kansas.  The normal consultation meeting, overview of the area, discussing their parameters all went well.  Even finding their new home went smoothly.  Inspections, negotiated cash in lieu of repairs, lender process – yep, all going smooth as silk eying the date to close.

BUT then 1 week before closing the lender sends my client an email and cc’d me, here’s what they said;

…we are wanting to see a copy of the inspection report. I know that you stated that they have to replace some flashing on the roof and fix a leaky toilet but we are really wanting to see a copy of the inspection report to see what the real problem is with the roof especially.  We may need a certification verifying that there are no active leaks and the roof is fine for 12 months depending on what the inspection report says.  Can you please forward me the inspection report as soon as you can so we can take a look at it?

There was no mention of any leaks on the home inspection report (and believe me when I say I use a very very meticulous inspector!!).  So I sent them the ‘roof’ section of the report the next day thinking that will answer any concerns about a leaking roof and they’ll move on getting the loan package to the attorney… But oh no – here’s the response we got;

…we want a roofer go out to the property to inspect the roof and have him send something on company letter head signed and dated stating there are no leaks on the roof and the life expectancy is at least 12 months.  We need this to get the purchase agreement approved and the faster you can get that to me that would be great.

WHAT?  It’s 3 days before closing.  I called and left messages for reputable roofers I know and work with here in the Triangle.  But lo and behold they were all booked!  The earliest I was able to get a roofer out to ‘fulfill’ this request was 3 or 4 weeks out.  BUT REMEMBER WE ARE SCHEDULED TO CLOSE IN 3 DAYS.  So I emailed the lender back and told him I was having problems getting a roofer that I knew and trusted to go to the house in such short notice; and again asked him since the inspector didn’t mention any leaks would he reconsider his request…he writes back;

Pam-is there any other roofing companies out there that can go to the property and inspect the roof before the 25th? I ask that cause I know <your client> will want to close on the home before then.

I wasn’t about to start calling random roofers…  what to do? Fortunately I thought to call a builder I love working with.  I called Massengill Design Build.  He was kind enough to refer his roofer who ‘dropped what he was doing’ to get to the house and get me that letter within a couple of hours.

I question why that happened in the first place?  There was no indication on the home inspectors report about any ‘roof leaks’ , and the home is just 6 years old with 30 year architectural shingles!!! 

This is just one example of what can snarl a closing, and there are many other issues that can/and do come up; so please have a back up plan for your closing date.  It relieves a lot of stress and tension.  Especially if that moving truck was scheduled for the same day as closing. Not having a back up plan if closing doesn’t go as scheduled, it’s the #1 pitfall when buying a home.  Give yourself some breathing room….  You’ll be glad you did if something comes up.

Happy House Hunting!


The Home inspection process when buying a home – Don’t be tricked into not getting one done

home inspection - priceless

Without a doubt one of the most important things, you as a home buyer can do before settling in on that dream home, is to have a home inspection.  Done by a licensed home inspector (ASHI Certified), it’s money so very well spent.

I don’t have to tell you that  buying a  home is one of the most expensive purchases most of us make in our lives.  It’s only common sense to have it checked out by someone who knows more about the operational components in a house than most of us do. 

What about new construction? I often hear buyers say when buying a newly constructed home that they’ll forgo a home inspection because it was inspected by the county when built.  Not so fast…  Builders are human, and some county inspections aren’t nearly as thorough as your home inspector will be.  I’ve seen things missed like over sized jacuzzi tubs not being properly connected to the drain pipe in a gorgeous brand new home.  Can you just imagine coming home late one evening and deciding to have a relaxing soak in the tub.  Wouldn’t have been too relaxing if that water had started to gush into the master bedroom.  But the home inspector found that mishap and the builder fixed it before an accident occurred.

By practice here in North Carolina all of your inspections are done after you have successfully negotiated and executed the offer to purchase (OTP).  I know it almost seems counter productive to do so after but that’s the standard practice around here.  The logic behind doing it after is that you have settled on terms (price, closing, etc) with the seller before spending money on inspections.

What to expect during a home inspection

Hopefully you’ll take the time needed to be apart of the home inspection ~ and your Realtor® will be there too.  Your inspector will provide you with a list of what they will be inspecting prior to your scheduled inspection; but you can expect them to inspect the home from top (attic) to bottom (crawlspace).

For an average 2,500 sq. ft home; the inspection will take about 2 1/2 hours.  Every inspector prices are different but for that 2,500 sq.ft home it might cost you around $400. Your inspector should cover everything electrical, mechanical, and structural during the inspection.  A good inspector will encourage you, the buyer, to shadow them as they go through the home.  They will tell you about the workings of your soon to be home; things like where the water shut off valve is, to how the electrical panel box is set up.  They will test all appliances (that convey with the home), faucets, cabinet doors and drawers, even the electrical outlets through out the home.

Things not to expect during a home inspection
not covered in home inspection

The home inspection doesn’t cover any cosmetic issues such as chipped tile or scratched counters.  So if you find anything such as a hole in the wall, scratched hardwoods, or rumpled carpet, be sure to include repairs/replacements of those items in your initial offer to purchase.  I’ve even structured putting some obvious inspection items in the OTP to alleviate negotiating them later; things such as windows with broken seals or HVAC units that look suspicious.

Also exterior sheds, play equipment, or any personal property will not be covered in the home inspection report.

The Report

You can also expect the home inspector’s report to be lengthy.  You hired them to document everything that they find and that can include small issues too.  Your home inspection report is a very good snapshot of the condition of the home on inspection day.  I encourage you to use an inspector that uses photos to show pictures of their findings.  It sure is helpful when going back to repair some of the items yourself.

Your homes workbook.

Once you have received your home inspection report be sure to read it over.  Carefully.  It contains information that you may have missed hearing or perhaps something the inspector didn’t verbally point out during the physical inspection.

There usually will be a summary report.  That’s what I like to refer to when discussing/requesting home repairs from the seller.  Remember here in the Triangle all inspections must be completed within the due diligence time frame as set out in your executed contract.

So that’s it.  It’s simple takes a few hours of your time but a home inspection is one of the best things you can do in the home buying process to alleviate unforeseen problems down the road and years to come.

2013 Parade of Homes Open House Event!

Wake County Parade of Homes InformationOne of our favorite Wake County events is here – the 48th annual Parade of Homes!  Come join in the fun both this weekend and next and explore some of the 190 homes featured this year.

This year’s Parade of Homes range in price from the $130,000’s to over $2 million and is, as always, free and open to the public.  Presented by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County this year’s focus is on sustainability via smart technologies and energy efficiency, appropriately meeting the demands of today’s conscientious consumers.

2013 Parade of Homes in Wake County, NC


When:  October 11th – 13th and 18th – 20th

Time:  12 – 5 PM

Where:  Primarily in Wake County, the Parade of Homes are scattered throughout (shown in order from highest number of homes in each city to the least): Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Fuquay-Varina, Apex, Rolesville,  Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Garner ,Wendell, Willow Spring, Zebulon and Angier, NC.

For a listing of the 2013 Parade of Homes visit the Wake County Parade of Homes website, stop by the HBA office to pick up a book (call 919-233-2033 for details), or download the “My Home Found” app on your smart phone.

We hope to see you out and about!

Estate home for sale in Holly Springs NC ~ Living at its Best!

Stunning Features with Charm & Elegance Throughout highlight this estate home for sale in Holly Springs, NC

4524 Arden Forest Road Holly Springs, NC 27540 - elegant inviting entranceCurrently on the market is this truly unique home in the desirable Estates of Sunset Lake neighborhood of Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Distinctive features of this custom built home include the large, private lot with a great indoor/outdoor relationship for relaxing, entertaining and maximizing the Holly Springs lifestyle.

4524 Arden Forest Road Holly Springs, NC 27540 - Light filled spaceYou’ll enjoy exploring the exquisite mill work in this estate home and being showered in sunlight; the warmth of the hardwood floors are highlighted by walls of windows.  The construction value, design and workmanship is beyond reproach.

4524 Arden Forest Road, Holly Springs, NC 27540This property is an oasis that is sure to please the most discriminating buyer!   Offering all the features and upgrades that is expected from an estate home but still providing that homey, comfortable, private retreat lifestyle.

Every square inch of this 5,516 square feet home offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a space that balances the perfect combination of elegance and function.  4524 Arden Forest Road Holly Springs, NC 27540 - gourmet kitchenThis home boasts; soaring ceilings, a gourmet chef’s kitchen, four bedrooms plus a flex room or in law suite, four and a half baths, first floor master with a 2-sided fireplace and custom trey ceiling, .96 acres with totally private backyard, 3 car side load garage, professionally designed workshop…

Ah, with so many features it’s hard to write them all down.  We hope that you’ll come see for yourself what living the good life looks and feels like in Holly Springs, NC.

For a guided virtual tour with photos and information about this magnificent retreat home visit 4524 Arden Forest Retreat.

For a guided in home tour contact us.

Living well is the best revenge to working hard.  Welcome home to 4524 Arden Forest Road, Holly Springs, NC.

How We Work & What To Expect

Our motto is Connecting You to Success in Real Estate.  That is what we strive to do with each and every home buyer and seller we have the pleasure of working with.

Client Testimonials for Lee and Pamela St. Peter and David Fritz

Why Choose Us?

We have helped hundreds of home buyers and home sellers relocate.  If you’re like us and you like to do your own research you’re going to need more than just our word, so if you like, read what our past clients have had to say about us… client testimonials.

What to Expect

First of all, we start by listening to you.  Once we know exactly what you’re looking for, we can show you any home that is for sale and that matches your needs and budget in our Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS).  This includes homes listed by any brokerage company, new home communities and even homes listed “For Sale By Owner”.  We are paid on a commission basis, which is generally paid by the seller at the time of closing.

We would be delighted to represent you in the purchase of your home as your Buyer’s Agent.  It would be a pleasure to meet and discuss with you how we can assist.  We think you’ll like our ability, experience, and knowledge that enables us to handle all the details needed to make this a pleasant relocation for you.  The next few months are going to be exciting and filled with some degree of uncertainty.  Please rest assured that we will provide you with all the information and assistance that you need in order to make this a pleasant moving experience.  Along with Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realty, we are prepared to answer all of your questions and meet all of your needs with regards to your move.  Our objective is to help you find a choice property that meets your requirements under the best possible terms and conditions currently available in the Triangle area real estate market.

We provide complete real estate services:"Gateway" Property Watch

  • A “Gateway” property watch where you’ll receive homes matching your specific criteria directly to your inbox – with full MLS listing sheets
  • Demographics of the new neighborhood
  • Previous sales history on homes you select
  • Complete guidance throughout the entire buying process, all the way through closing
  • Assistance in securing financial and legal services
  • Experienced negotiators

How We Work

At our first meeting we will concentrate on listening to your needs and the requirements you have for your home.  We can then provide a general background of the whole real estate process all the way through closing.  During this time, we will touch on pre-qualification, available lending programs, NC Disclosure Laws, different neighborhoods, home searching, negotiations and more.  If at all possible, we like to plan at least an hour for this session (if we can’t meet face to face first, e-mail or phone will work too).  This will then allow you to make an informed decision as to a real estate acquisition.  We will then begin the tour of a number of different neighborhoods or areas targeting specific homes that are for sale that meet your specific parameters.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for any information you may require (our website is a great resource if you’re in the early “information gathering” phase – we also offer an e-Relocation packet).

We look forward to meeting you soon.

Home buying process; Will you be ready for the day after your offer is accepted?



Funny question you may be thinking, but when a buyer makes an offer on a home and it is accepted, one of two things usually happens.

They either wake up scared or go into a buying frenzy thinking of everything they need for their new home!

Home Buyer’s Remorse

Home Buyer's RemorseHere’s the scenario; You’ve made an offer. It was accepted. Your offer was accepted on your dream home. Then, later that night, or the next day, you start worrying. Did I make a good decision? Can I afford it? What if this or that happens? Anxiety and stress set in. Take a deep breathe and sit back… because this is a very normal reaction. It is called buyer’s remorse.

The best way to handle buyer’s remorse is to take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. On one side, list all the positive things about buying this home. On the other side, list all of the negatives. You will come to realize that buying this home is a really good decision. I will be with you step by step to help answer any questions and concerns.

Home Buying Shopping Spree

Home Buyers Shopping Spree

Buyers are frequently so excited about the new home that they go out and start ordering new furniture, appliances, window treatments, and sometimes even a new car!

But there’s a real danger making any purchases at this point in your home buying process.  The problem is this can create havoc with your credit and income to debt ratios that lenders look at to approve your loan. Sometimes excessive purchases can cause the lender to reduce the amount of your loan, placing your home purchase at risk. Your best strategy?  Postpone purchasing all the amenities and extras until after your closing.

Home Buying Process:  Questions?  Concerns?

Lean on us.  We have helped hundreds of home buyers and sellers relocate to, from and within Wake County and surrounding areas.

Relocation Resources

Relocation Check-list

Home Buyers everywhere have a list of things to accomplish as they set their sites on moving.  Starting with:

… the list goes on and on.  But what about after the offer is accepted?  How do I prepare for my relocation?

Preparing for Relocation

We created this Home Buyer Check-list to provide an easy way for buyers to stay organized during this busy time.  In addition to the home buying check-list, included below are links to some very handy forms and information you’ll need to get the relocation process moving along

If you have any questions at all, or are preparing to relocate to the Triangle or a surrounding area, contact us.  We’ve worked with hundreds of home buyers and home sellers relocating to and from the Wake County area and are here to help.

Wake County Real Estate Market Recap June 2012

Wondering How the Triangle Real Estate Market is Looking?

Real estate activity in June 2012 (from the Triangle MLS) was strong…

  • Homes sold in June 2012 vs June 2011 = 2,607 vs 2,197 representing an increase of 18.7%
  • At the end of June 2012 the inventory of homes for sale was 13,691 vs 18,848 in June 2011, a decrease of 27.4%
  • The Days on Market until sale saw a decrease of 2.5% for the same period with an average of 115 in June 2012 vs 118 in June 2011

The Triangle unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.8% in May, up from 7.5% in April.

Wake County Real Estate Statistics

Recap of June Real Estate in Wake CountyOur Triangle market report will give you a good overview of how detached homes for sale in our area of NC performed in the Triangle Real Estate Market during the month of June 2012.

The pie chart breaks down the percentages of:

  • new active homes listed in June
  • total homes for sale (active)
  • homes that sold
  • homes under contract June 30th

For great information more specific to each area of the Triangle, see the links below to our blog where we’ve posted individual area market reports for last month:

To break down the information above even further, the table below details Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Garner, Fuquay-Varina and Knightdale by how many:

Wake County Real Estate: June Stats by Area

  • New Active homes entered the housing market in June
  • Total Active homes were listed during the month (excludes the # of New Active homes as not to be redundant or skew the numbers)
  • Homes Closed last month
  • Homes that went under contract (Pending) in June
  • Average Days on the Market homes were listed before closing


Wake County Real Estate: Days on the Market by areaThis graph indicates the average number of days a single family detached home remained on the market (includes only those homes that closed in June 2012).

If you are selling your Triangle home this should help give a quick overview of how long you can expect it will take to sell your home, IF it is priced right. Again the table above lists the average days on the market for those homes that were closed during June 2012.

If you are interested in finding out how your home stacks up against the competition, we offer a free Comparative Market Analysis. If you would like to know how we can market your home to get the best deal possible in the shortest amount of time, browse our Triangle home selling section or request a free pamphlet on how to get your home sold fast. When you’re ready, contact us and we’ll work together to get your home sold.

The information below will give an idea of what your options are as home buyers.


Wake County Real Estate: Active listings by area

HOMES that went UNDER CONTRACT last month

Wake County Real Estate: Pending in June


Wake County Real Estate: Sold in June by area

If you would like to discover what is on the market now that matches your unique criteria sign up for your own gateway and receive new listings as they enter the Triangle real estate market.

Should you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like more detailed information please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’re always happy to answer questions, listen to concerns and work together. Whether you are buying or selling a home, we are here to create a smooth transition and fulfill your real estate needs.

Disclaimer: Any reference to TMLS data is based on information from Triangle MLS, which neither guarantees nor is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided ‘AS IS’ and with all faults. Data maintained by Triangle MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Realtor is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors.