Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Own?

SO MUCH is being said in the media right now about the merits (or lack thereof) of owning a home in today's economy. Forget dollars and cents for a moment... what about the following:

• It’s a great long term investment.
• It’s a great place to raise a family.
• It gives you a greater sense of community.
• It’s less expensive than renting. Pay yourself each month, not a landlord.
• People who currently own have no regrets about owning their home.

My home is falling apart and a tremendous amount of upkeep. It's also more home than I need and still bearing the 80s decor of my precious deceased mother-in-law. But, you know what? It's where I want to raise my children. Enough said. That means more to me than interest rates, return on investment, etc.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do NOT Wait!

KCMBlog.com has an excellent, but sobering, post today about projected home prices. The post boils down to one crucial statement: "If you are looking to sell within the next two years, the highest sales price you will be able to attain for your home is its current value." If you would like to read the whole article, just visit KCMBlog.com. Fannie Mae has forecasted prices will fall and not return to present levels until 3rd quarter 2012... so sell while you can!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Putting Your Home on an Energy Diet

Another great segment on The Today Show today... small things you can do to cut your energy costs:

-- seal out drafts around your windows with an insulation kit (@ $10 at Lowe's)
-- use self-adhesive weather stripping at the bottom of doors (comes in an easy roll)
-- change your thermostat to a programmable one (I need to do this!)
-- replace light bulbs with LED -- one costs about $16, but it has a life of 50,000 hours!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Truth Hurts

"Demand for housing will remian soft until the economy recovers."

OUCH. This is from a blog by Steve Harney, a leading real estate mastermind who, in my opinion, knows his stuff! His latest blog tries to answer the question on everyone's minds, "Why do Home Prices Keep Falling?". I encourage you to visit kcmblog.com and read the whole article, but it can be summarized with 3 points:

1. Expiration of homebuyer's tax credot
2. Distressed properties and their effect on ALL properties
3. Lack of consumer confidence.

Sellers, please remember, your home is only worth what someone will pay for it and what the appraisal shows as its value. What you paid, how much you have spent on it, etc. make no difference. Hard to swallow? Yep... but realistic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Winterizing Your Home

It's that time of year... things that we could let slide (dirty gutters, leaks in the crawl space, etc.) in the warmer months are now calling out to us in the night. MSN.com had a great article posted with some very simple tips for winterization. Here's the link: http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107899

A lot of these items are do-it-yourselfers, but for the ones that require more advanced services, contact me. I have relationships with a number of great vendors who can do almost anything around your home. Stay warm!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Today Show

I very rarely agree with real estate segments I see on TV, especially ones where "experts" give tips on increasing a home's value -- those experts are usually from either an extremely distressed market or one that is experiencing a wonderful bubble, so the tips ALWAYS need to be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, many people see them as gospel!
Anyway, the Today Show had an excellent segment this morning. I made a point to watch it after the teaser basically so I could disagree with it, but this one was right on. It dealt with inexpensive and simple things you can do to enhance your home's value, and most of them were do-it-yourselfers. I really loved the analogy the guest expert gave when talking about shutters... she said that just as eyeliner enhances a beautiful set of eyes, shutters enhance the "eyes" of the home (the windows). So true! Some of the others were even simpler:

Fresh mulch
Paint the front door
Replace your mailbox
Power wash the driveway
Replace cabinet hardware in the kitchen
Clean off and polish the fridge
Replace light fixtures in high traffic areas
Replace toilet seats and bathroom mirrors
Bleach tile grout

Simple, right? SO many of these are easy, inexpensive, quick fixes that really polish your home. The guest expert made another great analogy. She pointed out that in an overly saturated market (like ours), these little touches make a big difference. Buyers see every dollar they will have to put into a house, and they offer $2 less for every $1. Sooooooo true...

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Rates they are A-Rising...

Ok Folks... 30 yr conventional rates are now at 4.25. That is excellent, I know, but 2 weeks ago they were below 4%! So, they are rising, and the higher they go, the less house you get for the money. It is important to hone in and decide on the home you want NOW. Call me today to get started!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One Level Living in Yadkinville

I have just listed a home in Yadkinville that is perfect for a variety of situations. It is all one level, with a split bedroom plan -- so it's perfect for the empty nester! It has a large backyard and is on a quiet no-through street -- so it's perfect for young families! It's affordable and move-in ready -- so it's perfect for someone needing to move YESTERDAY... and I could go on and on...

Click the link to the right for a photo tour. The home is located in Stonebridge Estates, which is seconds away from 421, grocery shopping, etc... yet the neighborhood has a very quiet, relaxed, country feel to it. it really is the best of both worlds!

Tate does it AGAIN

Allen Tate has offered us yet another powerful marketing tool... when you list with Tate and your agent uploads an online photo tour, your home is featured on YouTube! Nobody does more for you than Tate! To take advantage of this wonderful marketing tool, contact me TODAY

Monday, November 1, 2010

Buyer Expectations

This weekend I had several instances of buyers with unrealistic expectations (all were working with other agents, so I am not talking about any of my folks here!). I hear a lot "the market is down, so they can't expect that price." But guess what? A lot of sellers are educated and are priced for this market already. So, before you lowball just because "it's a down market," please have your agent do a market analysis. You may still choose to lowball, but at least you will recognize that many homes are already priced for THIS market and not for a booming one. If you need a market analysis done and don't have a Realtor, contact me asap!