Friday, September 30, 2011

Mixed Media Signals

"According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 120 major cities, prices rose 0.9% in July compared with June, but they're still 4.1% lower than 12 months ago."

This statement was made by and it will cause problems. Folks will see the first half and stop, feeling they can price their homes higher based on the 0.9% rise.

A rise is good, of course, but we must still look at the big picture. Prices are still DOWN from 12 months ago. Pricing aggressively is still an absolute must!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Best Buy in Clemmons West!

We have a new listing in Clemmons West, and it is priced RIGHT! Lovingly maintained by the long time owners, it overlooks Tanglewood par 3 and sits on a half acre corner lot AND in a cul-de-sac to boot! This all brick home features 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, a lower level playroom, and abundant fruit trees in the backyard. Click here for a photo tour... this home is an excellent opportunity for someone to get into Clemmons West at an affordable price!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mrs. Valentine

Why I love my job!

Friends made through different aspects of my career are some of my dearest ones! Renee, pictured above, was a former co-worker of mine... I was privileged to sell her (then) boyfriend a home... and today they became man and wife. Congratulations!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why are the Fees so "High"?

Lisa and I are representing an experienced 3rd generation custom builder in our Warren's Gate community in Clemmons, NC. It is for active adults who do not want to worry with exterior maintenance of their lawn OR dwelling. One question we get often concerns the monthly HOA fee... on the surface, it seems high compared to other "simialr" communities (I say that tongue in cheek because few "no maintenance" communities are truly "no maintenance", but that is another blog post!). Anyway, we explain that dwelling insurance is included. All the occupant needs is an H06 policy, which covers contents and interior "stuff"... here is an email I sent recently to a potential customer that puts it in more understandable terms:

If you want to mention this to your insurance agent, what is needed is called an H06 policy. It is contents plus interior shell (that’s “Amanda speak”…). The exterior is completely covered by the master policy of the HOA. The reason this is CRUCIAL these days is because of how appearance affects perceived values. If your neighbor goes into foreclosure, abandons the property, or just plain and simple fails to maintain it, the HOA is still maintaining the exterior. So, if a tree limb falls on the roof during the time it is unoccupied, it will be fixed rather than sit there and cause more and more damage. Similarly, if your neighbor is under insured and something like that happens, you don’t have to worry – all homeowners in the neighborhood have the same level of insurance, so one underinsured or absentee homeowner’s lack of maintenance does not bring the whole neighborhood down.

Depending on the level of coverage, you CAN have some costs savings with the HO6, but that is relative to your level of comfort. So, that MAY be a benefit, but the definite and main benefit is in future protection. With all the foreclosures, short sales, etc, happening now in ALL price points, this is tremendous for peace of mind.

One of the things I said about K****** leads just to this issue. K****** has some gorgeous properties, but there is NOT a blanket HOA policy there. In the last few years, there have been quite a few short sales and foreclosures out there. I personally had a home on the market 2-3 years ago that was gorgeous inside and out, but the lack of maintenance of the properties on both sides just killed it when it was shown. That is a worst case scenario, but in this day and age very relevant.

The HO6 covers contents as well as the following example… should you go on vacation and have a water leak, your HO6 covers the internal damage.

Let me know if you have questions. I tried to relay this is “non Realtor speak” like you said yesterday ;-), but your insurance agent will absolutely be the best person to explain it in more detail. I can also give you contact info for the policy holder of the policy out here at WG if you or your rep would like to speak to them.

*** Another important point to realize about the dues is that they have a repair and maintenance escrow built in, so that your chance of all of a sudden getting a $3000 assessment for gutters and downspouts in the mail one day that is due and payable within 60 days is MUCH less. In the case of WG, money for things like that is being set aside little by little every month.

Finally, to put it all in perspective, how much do you spend in a year just on your yard?? I know I personally spent over $200 in weed killer ALONE in July (that is still sitting unused on my front porch, by the way). So, to get all lawn maintenance (that will actually be done!), exterior maintenance, sprinklers in the front and back (and the water for them), repair escrows, maintenance reserves, dwelling insurance, sidewalks and street lights, entrance upkeep, and HOA management for $217.50 a month really isn't a burden...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Warren's Gate Pricing!

WOW -- Warren's gate has undergone a facelift... there are now plans available starting in the 190s! Contact us today for info and come on home to Clemmons!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Appraisal Guidelines -- What Does This Mean for You?

New appraisal guidelines came out September 1 that, in my professional opinion, are a good thing in the long run BUT will most likely result in even tighter appraisals than we in the industry have been seeing in the short term. This is an out of pocket expense for you, but it can shorten marketing time which means fewer house payments for YOU to make on your existing home. If you would like the contact number for an appraiser familiar with YOUR LOCAL market (and this makes a difference!), let me know.

As a word of caution, an appraisal is good for the day in which it was done. If a home down the street goes into foreclosure next week, the numbers will change. However, it will give you an excellent starting point and serves as powerful ammunition for your agent when negotiating an offer/contract on your home. A Realtor's market analysis is as accurate as possible, but nothing is better than a certified appraisal as appraisers often have access to information we as agents don’t AND only an appraiser can truly interpret the new guidelines, which will be instrumental in determining the value of your home in today’s market.

Call, text, email, or tweet me today to discuss!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why Now is the Time to Sell

Steve Harney & The KCMBlog have another great post today regarding why you should sell now. Click here to see the full post, but the reasons given are:

1. Your home will get more exposure now than in the winter
2. Distressed properties wil continue to have an effect on pricing
3. Mortgages will continue to get more difficult
4. It is the perfect time to move up

#5 in particular spoke to me... my husband and I have plans for his childhood home, but we can't do any of those until we sell our current home. So, even if we get a little less than we may in the "spring" or a few years down the road, it is still the right time for us to sell. Being able to "move on" is priceless!

Friday, September 2, 2011

WHOO HOO Way to go Winston-Salem Taters!

Our broker just released our August numbers here in our Winston-Salem, NC office. I am proud to be associated with such a productive bunch of people! We are not a mega-office either, so these numbers (especially the closed one considering the doom and gloom in today's market) are especially impressive. Lisa and I had several ourselves... :-)

Listings --- 74
Sales ------ 80
Closed ----71

So, as I have asked before... do you want your property listed or do you want it sold??


This is the designer of! Way to go Neil!
Brown Advertising spotlighted in HOW Magazine article

Once again, Lisa and I know quality when we see it :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Way to go!

We are proud to be a sponsor of, recently nominated by Parents Magazine as one of 15 top blogs. Keep it up! We know quality when we see it! :-)