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

I want to buy a home in Wake County, but now what?

buying a Wake County home

CONGRATULATIONS!!  It is a great time to buy a home in the Triangle area of NC!  Lots of terrific homes are for sale and interest rates are at historical lows.  Home searching can be a really exciting event, but can be stressful too.  

My Job and my commitment to you is to make your home search as smooth and stress-free as possible.  

To create a smooth home purchase, we’ll get started by:

  • Identifying what is affordable by talking with a lender first.  This will save time and avoid feeling frustrated should we find a home you love that turns out to be out of reach financially. It is important to consider the financing options available and to begin the mortgage pre-approval process to know what you’re qualified for.
  • Previewing only those homes that closely meet your unique needs and interests. Getting distracted by homes that don’t match your criteria (or price range) can add confusion (and even chaos!) to the home finding process.  
  • Scheduling time to look at homes and neighborhoods. I will arrange showing appointments ahead of time.
  • Limiting conversation with the seller or their real estate professional if they are present when we are there.  Home sellers (understandably) often feel attached to their homes.  Sometimes unknowingly they can ruin YOUR interest in their attempts to sway you by discussing what THEY love.  If you imagine the home as their home and not your home it may cloud the home’s unique characteristics.
  • Taking notes, or using your preferred method of documenting features of each home.  If you’re a note-taker (like me!), we’ll provide Homefinding Worksheets to help evaluate each property.  This keeps the details of each home clear so that you later avoid wondering which house was it that had those features we loved…?
  • Communicating both the positives and negatives of each home.  I will ask you to tell me your thoughts about each property you see so that we may continue to assess your needs and buying criteria throughout the process… to ultimately find your ideal home.
  • Not forgetting that this is FUN!!
Ready to go find a Wake County area home you can call your own?  

Contact us and let’s get started!

Home Buyers – Don’t be caught making these common real estate mistakes

There's more to buying a home than just finding it!

There’s more to buying a home than just finding one!

As Realtors® with well over a decade of experience, we know what it takes to source out and find the perfect home for our Wake County home buyers. We also know how to get our home buying clients a fair price; and how to guide the process from start to finish.  Which in today’s market is essential in creating a low stress, smooth home buying experience.

For home buyers in Wake County, setting the right expectations and learning some basic tips in advance can make a world of difference for your upcoming real estate transaction.


When Buying Your Home:

Have a solid grasp of your budget before shopping

It’s a must; get pre-approved by a mortgage professional (unless you’re paying cash for your home).  You have to know what price range you qualify for before searching.  Use this list of mortgage loan programs to familiarize yourself with options and then contact your mortgage professional.  If you would like us to refer a loan expert, let us know.  Mortgage calculators can be helpful to get a good idea of how much you want to afford as well.This first step is so important and can’t be emphasized enough. Getting pre-approved for your loan not only lays the foundation for your expectations in a home, but also makes you a qualified buyer in the eyes of the home seller. If you find your dream home and put in an offer without having first been pre-qualified, your offer may not even get considered by the home sellers.   Most of the time here in Wake County, you’ll be asked to submit your pre-approval letter from a reputable lender WITH your offer.

Understand your costs up front  
Congratulations! Now that you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage you can feel confident that you and your Realtor® will find a home that meets all your expectations AND within your budget! Be sure to review your good faith estimate with your Realtor® too so that you’ll understand all additional costs both at the closing table and down the road to avoid panic later.

You’ll have other questions besides those on financing a home; you’ll want to garner information about property taxes, interest, private mortgage insurance (if applicable), expected annual maintenance costs for your home, home owners association dues, the origination fee, home warranty options, etc., don’t hesitate to ask. These are part and parcel with buying a home and being a home owner and are easily manageable if your expectations are aligned from the beginning.

Know what you need in a home before home hunting
Make a list before you shop for a home. If you have 5 dogs and need a decent back yard, write down need back yard. If you work from your home and need an office, write must have office. It seems obvious but sometimes emotions get the better of judgement.  We sometimes see buyers get WOWED by some feature in a home and their list basic needs list gets tossed to the wayside.

Finding a home that matches all your criteria can be tough depending on budget. Know what compromises you’re willing to make up front so that you don’t have regrets later. Avoid wondering whether compromising on the office (and working every day from the kitchen table) was worth the really cool fireplace in the living room.
Ignore the furniture and everything that doesn’t convey with the house
Such a common mistake and one that’s sometimes tough to see past. Home staging gives home sellers a huge advantage to their competition. Don’t be blinded by the perfect decor and forget to consider that maybe the layout doesn’t fit your needs. Imagine your own stuff in the home and try and see beyond the staging.

On the same token, if the seller hasn’t put much effort forth to make a great impression and you walk into a cluttered, mis-matched, hodge podge (not the endearing type) of a home… remember, all that stuff is going to be gone. Try and see past it as well and imagine your things in the space; don’t let poor decor cause you to miss out on considering an otherwise great home.

Don’t pick the wrong agent.  
  • When you meet – treat it like a job interview.
  • A friend of a friend may not be right for you.
  • Meeting at the Realtors® office is a good idea.  See where they work, how organized they are, etc.
  • Ask a lot of questions.
  • Choose someone you feel comfortable with, trust, someone who is knowledgeable about the area, and has a list of references they’re willing to share with you.

Just remember, home hunting is fun! Stay focused on the end result. Understand your costs, don’t let emotions stand in the way of what you want, and always stay close to the original list of criteria you made before viewing homes.

Ready to start viewing homes?  Call us ~ we’re ready to help!  Want e-mail notifications of new blogs posted?: Subscribe to our Blog

Wake County Homes for Sale – New Real Estate in May, 2012

As we peek into the real estate market it is our pleasure to present homes just listed on the Wake County Real Estate market in May 2012!

Sorted in alphabetical order by Triangle area subdivisions and categorized by Wake County Areas, check out the new listings that came on the market last month:Map of Raleigh and surrounding areas

If you’re not yet sure where you would like to relocate within the Triangle area, (there are certainly a number of great areas to choose from) take a peek at the new active homes for sale in Wake County, NC.

Great opportunities Available Here in the Triangle Area of NC!

Raleigh, NC Home for Sale on 1.4 acres!

Brand new to the real estate market, we’d like to put the spotlight on this gorgeous retreat and newly listed Raleigh, NC home for sale.  Nestled in a mature quiet neighborhood this home offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the day.  Enjoy quiet summer nights on the large deck or entertain family, friends and neighbors around the in-ground backyard pool.
3 Bed, 2.5 Bath Raleigh Retreat on 1.4 acres!

This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home sits on a beautiful, secluded 1.4 acres.  Featuring a 32×16 in-ground pool with a huge deck area, private fenced back yard, balcony overlooking the backyard, a stunning updated master bath, updated kitchen, hardwoods and tile floors, and a sunroom, you also have the added advantage of no city taxes.

Interested?  Click the photo for more information on this secluded home for sale in Raleigh, NC.

As always it is so important to have the right resources available at the tip of your fingers when considering Wake County Real Estate.  Just let us know what we can do to help guarantee that your move will be a pleasant experience ~ Welcome to the Triangle!

Full Wake County Real Estate Recap for April 2012

April Real Estate Round up for the Triangle area of NC

The Triangle area real estate activity for April (stats pulled from the Triangle MLS) indicate a strong month!

  • Homes sold in April 2012 vs April 2011 = 1,900 vs 1,816 representing an increase of 4.6%
  • At the end of April 2012 the inventory of homes for sale was 14,111 vs 19,407 in April 2011, a decrease of 27.3%
  • The Days on Market until sale decreased by 2.1% for the same period with an average of 125 in April 2012 vs 128 in April 2011

The Triangle unemployment rate dropped to 7.8% in March, down from 8.3% in March 2011 and from 8.2% in February 2012.

If you’re considering moving to Raleigh or the Triangle area of North Carolina, or even if you’re planning on selling a home in or around Wake County, it’s important to have the right information.

Our 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 April 2012.

April Real Estate Market Recap for Wake CountyThe chart to the left breaks down the percentages of:

  • New active homes listed in April
  • Total homes for sale (active)
  • Homes that sold
  • Homes under contract (pending) at the end of April 2012

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:April Real Estate Market Recap for Wake County

  • New Active homes entered the housing market in April
  • 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 during April
  • Homes that went under contract (Pending) last month
  • Average Days on the Market homes were listed before closing

 Average Number of Days on the Market before Closing

Wake County NC Real Estate Activity - April

 

The graph to the left indicates the average number of days a single family detached home remained on the market (includes only those homes that closed in April 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 April 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.

  Triangle Homes for Sale                              Homes Under Contract

Wake County NC Real Estate Activity - AprilWake County NC Real Estate Activity - April

Number of Homes that Sold in April 2012

Wake County NC Real Estate Activity - April

 

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.


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.

Don’t waste your time looking at homes online that aren’t for sale!

Are you getting the best information online?

Found our dream home


There are so many new ways for prospective buyers (and sellers) to harvest information today about real estate online.  


But there’s a problem that I find I’m continuously facing…  WRONG INFORMATION!!!

How can that be you ask?  The more popular online sites that you’re searching on have info that’s just old, out dated, and just not up to date!  
Found our dream home
I can’t tell you how many times I get a list from buyers who have spent countless hours looking online for homes they’d like to see.  

What’s so sad is unfortunately many of the homes on their list just aren’t for sale.  I had one on a list the other day that had sold 18 months ago!

But there is a way for you not waste your time and receive fresh up to date, even brand new listings to hit the market...

 Use a Realtor® in your market!  

Your Realtor® is your advocate when home searching AND all through the home buying or selling process. They’ll offer you ways to find homes that match YOUR needs in your price range.  They will KNOW what’s on the market, what’s sold etc., and you won’t waste time falling in love with a  house someone else already owns!

Here at The St. Peter HomeSelling Team we’ve created a sure fire way for our clients (and we hope future customers) to keep an eye out on what they want… 

Found our dream home

I’d like to share with you how we’ll make it real easy for you to receive information about homes that match your needs – automatically!


We are fortunate to have a great MLS – powered by MarketLinx.
And we couldn’t be more pleased with what the Triangle MLS provides for us.  It allows us to offer our online buyers and sellers an interactive, personalized website created just for them, called a Client Gateway.  Home searchers can sign up – or even home sellers that want to watch what their competition is doing ~ it’s FREE!  So what are you waiting for?

If you’re serious about buying or selling a home in Wake county ~ don’t waste your time with outdated information!  We’re here to help with serious information that you can count on!

Can We Really Still Build a NEW Home in the Triangle?

So you think you would like to build your dream home…

Inwood Forest


It’s that time of the year around here.  Our market always heats up in February here in the Triangle and this year is proving that statement truer than ever!  



As you probably have read not only on our blog but other press releases as well; The Triangle is bursting with accolades!

So it comes as no surprise to anyone that the majority of inquiries these days are from folks putting a plan to their dream of moving and relocating to Raleigh NC (or Cary, Apex, Holly Springs etc..)  And how I can relate…  I remember almost 20 years ago putting our plan to move from Canada into action.  The dream is very real…

One of the attractions I’m hearing from buyers is the fact that we actually still have new construction going on!  Mind you it slowed quite a bit over the past few years but it’s still available.  Just this past week-end a client from NJ came into town for an overview and fell in love with a new home subdivision…

But just what can you expect when investigating new homes and new subdivisions?  AVillages of Apex lot of differences!

For one; some of the developers are foregoing the pool/tennis court area as they feel they just don’t get enough interest from homeowners.  So if a pool and or tennis court is a necessity for your family be sure to check that out.  Or perhaps it’s a larger lot your looking for…  here in the Triangle you do have a choice.  When getting ready to buy we have a series of posts that you won’t want to miss outlining the details of buying a home in Wake County..

What about pricing?  That varies as well depending on where and who the builder is.  For example right now in Cary NC there are 121 new homes for sale in our TMLS
Here’s a link to the new construction being offered in Cary NC – homes are organized by subdivision.  Below you’ll see what our TMLS shows as averages in Cary in Wake County;

New construction in Cary NC

Let’s compare:

There are 96 Apex new homes for sale

New construction in Apex NC
There are 76 Holly Springs new homes for sale

New construction in Holly Springs NC

There are 96 Fuquay Varina new homes for sale

New construction in Fuquay Varina NC

So if your dream plans include new construction here in the Triangle – just call and let’s chat.  There’s a lot to talk about!!

Best Places to Invest in Foreclosed Homes

By: David Fritz

The news often highlights the cities with the most and heaviest discounted foreclosures. But when considering a real estate investment is this really where you want to look? Not according to Forbes magazine. At first glance, cities with the heaviest discounts may seem promising but bargain prices in “flimsy” markets do not make a wise investment. As Forbes says, better to look at cities and towns with strong economies and a relatively stable housing market. Using this yardstick, Raleigh was recently rated #2 in a list of the 10 best places to buy a foreclosure.

Makes sense. An often heard comment from local real estate agents is, “I have clients ready to buy if only they could sell their home in Ohio, New York, etc.” Employment opportunities and quality of life are dominant themes drawing families to the Raleigh area. Wow, it’s a good place to put down roots, maybe that makes it a good place to invest in real estate… BINGO!

Having decided on the area, then it’s down to the basics. Do your homework, check out the neighborhood, schools, shopping, and parks. If this is a rental investment, consider a neighborhood with only a few rentals which tend to be more stable, more desirable and have better appreciation rates. Check the county records for the number of mailing addresses that are different than the property address. Does the condition of nearby homes support the improvements you will need to make? Comparing recent sales prices against your planned offer price is a good way to begin.

In the future look for:

  • How financial institutions handle the foreclosure process
  • Getting a handle on repairs: cosmetic vs. serious damage
  • Is buying a foreclosure for you

Winterizing your home ~ Southern Style…

Time to prepare for winter too


Home winterizing ~ southern style

Well we’re full fledged into fall as we turned our calendars to November –  as summer slowly creeps away from us and we watch squirrels dashing around like crazy...  We start to change our attitudes and our daily routines.  It’s a time to start to think about getting ready and winterizing your home

Now living in Raleigh NC and getting ready for winter is nothing like what we did up in Montreal.  Up north there’s a lot more home winterizing and hunkering down than here.  One thing we all remember is bringing in the wood and cording it for the wood stove to keep us warm.

But there are still some customs that we go through. Like sorting through winter clothes we bring out of storage and deciding which we’ll be able to use in the coming months and which would be better given to goodwill.

Then there’s the let’s see how long we can hold out before turning on the heat!!  I usually win that one as I’m the hot blooded one in our family…

There are some good tips that we would be frugal in heeding even here in the south to winterize a house.  So I thought I’d share some thoughts of things to do as you’re getting ready to settle in for a long winters nap…  oh – sorry I was getting carried away there..

Hope you enjoy the coming months – it’s my favorite time of the year!

Thoughts & tips on getting ready for winter & winterizing your home

 

  • Check battery-powered equipment – flashlight(s), portable radio and/or TV. Keep additional, fresh batteries for each.
  • Have your furnace checked. Check heating fuel supplies. Do not allow fuel to get low because, in snowy or icy weather, fuel carriers may not be able to reach you.
  • Check attic and basement insulation
  • Caulk or weather-strip doors and windows. Make sure windows are closed and sealed tightly
  • Clean registers, vents and duct openings
  • Keep some sand or ice-melting stuff on hand
  • Have alternate heating source – fireplace, wood stove, space heater. Equipment should be approved for indoor use. **Properly ventilate room and use strict fire safety measures.
  • Have fireplace cleaned/serviced by a professional before use.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any combustible materials, including drapes, carpeting and furniture.
  • Do not drape gloves, socks, or other clothing over a space heater to dry.
  • Keep children and pets away from heating equipment.
  • Fuel-filled equipment should be filled outdoors when completely cooled.
  • Have a fire extinguisher near each heating source.
  • Assemble an emergency supplies kit (enough for at least three days) remember to include:
  1. Extra supplies of high energy food and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration (Suggestion for canned foods: 10 cans per person)
  2. Non-electric can opener
  3. Bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  4. Extra warm clothing
  5. Extra blankets or sleeping bags
  6. First aid kit, including all essential medications

We love our milder North Carolina winters…  one of the benefits of living in the south.  But winterizing your home, getting ready for the cooler season, and being practical about our preparations takes priority this time of the year even in the South!

Do you have home winterizing routines or tips that you could share with us?  We’d love to hear about them…  and if you’re planning on buying or selling a home in the next couple of months we’ll be ready to show ways to buy a house, even in the winter!

 

Is it a good time to buy a home?

Worry, Worry Worry Worry Worry…

Worry just will not seem to leave my mind alone.

As a dog lover I can’t help but LOVE the Travelers Insurance commercial featuring the song Trouble by Ray LaMontagne ~ poor guy, he can’t help but worry about ‘his stuff’! But how does this song relate to Real Estate?  Great Question!

If you have ever bought, or thought about buying a home, you may have shared the concerns of our 2 characters (who so graciously volunteered to star in our video).

Does this sound like a conversation you’ve had?
For first time home buyers and even home buying veterans, there are a number of aspects about today’s market that are creating some extra worry, after all this economy is a little different than in years past.Sure, the basics are still the same… a few things to do to get you on your way to home ownership:
  • Finding a Realtor® with experience that you are comfortable with
  • Meeting with a lender and getting pre-approved
  • Feeling comfortable with your budget and price range, and understanding all costs involved
  • The fun stuff – thinking about your new home and outlining what is important to you… your nice to have and MUST haves

But in light of the recent changes in the economy; the foreclosures, the revamping of some mortgage lending practices, the shift in supply and demand, the adjustment of home prices nationwide, etc., etc., many home buyers who are worried to take the step. It’s more important than ever to do the financial and emotional prep work to overcome the worry that the changing economy has created (real or implied).

The real estate market IS changing and the system in place for buying a home is now slowly strengthening.  The overall goal is that strategically the methods and procedures being put in place now will create a solid foundation so that the economy can avoid a relapse of the same conditions in the future.

Is there a bright side?  We think so – things are starting to turn around.  Let’s worry less and have more confidence.

Arm yourself with a great Realtor and feel confident that you’re making the right decision for you and your circumstances when buying a home.

We are here to help Wake County home buyers and sellers transition to, from and around the Triangle as smoothly as possible.

Can you relate to our video?  We would love to hear your stories!

Eternal Fence-Sitter ~ Overly Uber-Picky ~ Chronic Lookers = Fear of Commitment?

Eternal Fence-Sitter ~ Overly Uber-Picky ~ Chronic Lookers = Fear of Commitment?

 

We wear many hats as Real Estate Professionals don’t we.  When one of the above describes our client, one of our jobs is to figure out WHY.  
 
Working with difficult real estate transactions
Some reasons are naturally easier to handle than others.  But you know what I believe they all have in common? … Fear:
  • Fear of making a bad decision
  • Fear of the process
  • Fear of future repairs
  • Fear of what others will say
  • Fear of not being able to sell when they need to relocate
  • Fear of not being able to make payments
  • Fear of regret / buyer’s remorse
  • Fear of not getting the kids in the right school district
  • Fear of dropping the down payment
A fear of commitment because of any of the reasons above or thousands of other possible reasons.  

We can’t combat them all but some fears we can ease.  As Realtors®, one of our hats is “counselor”… by answering questions, anticipating needs, and by helping conquer fears.   

IMHO ~ I’d dare say 99% of folks out there are not intentionaly trying to be rude or waste our time. They probably don’t understand why they haven’t yet made a decision on the home of their dreams either!
Working with difficult real estate transactions


As a Realtor® I believe it is (well partially) my responsibility to get to the root cause of the fear.  If you’re showing let’s say the 30th home to a couple and it really does meet their needs on their wish list don’t be afraid to gently ask:
  • What is keeping you from making an offer?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the home buying process?
  • Are there any aspects about buying a home that I haven’t covered that you need to learn more about before making an offer?

Fears can be hard to detect can’t they? Sometimes I think the root of the fear can be on a more personal side. And when that happens I usually steer clear of addressing it directly (unless of course the client is your brother and you’re close).  We’re all human and human stuff happens…
  • Are they READY to buy a home with their significant other?… Is this the commitment fear that is affecting their home purchase?  
  • perhaps there are marital problems that are limiting one of the spouses to make a commitment
  • or maybe (as I’ve seen this happen) their tastes are sooooo different and it’s causing a riff…
Again – not topics I readily dive into, but something I do keep in mind when it seems there’s no other reason why an offer isn’t on the table.  

Just remember, don’t take it personally.  It feels personal, boy how I know that. But sometimes when I know I’ve done everything I can for clients – I just need to remind myself to stay confident in my abilities…  


Sometimes… it really is them and not you.