Coastal North Carolina Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 14, 2021

5 Myths About Real Estate - Debunked!

1) A Home Passes or Fails an Inspection

This is not like an exam in high school where you either pass or fail. The point of an inspection is to assess the condition of the home, the good and the bad. The inspector will write up a summary after inspecting the home that reports on any issues the home has and the age of key systems, such as plumbing, electric, the roof, etc. This is a benefit not a hinderance.

2) All Agents Are the Same

This could not be farther from the truth! The general process of a transaction, be it buying or selling, is the same. However, an agent's approach, ability to negotiate and be flexible, the resources they have and the preferred lenders and attorneys they work with make certain agents invaluable to the home buying or selling process. When an agent is notably pleasant to work with other agents prefer to work with them as well, giving them a better chance of getting the deal done.

3) New Agents Don't Have the Know-How

Being new to any field and not having specific experience in real estate does not mean you do not have the "know-how". As in any job, it is the skills you can bring to the job and the continuing training that helps an agent succeed.

4) Agents Accept Kickbacks

A lot of people feel certain agents get kickbacks. A Congress bill RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act) effectively restricted such unlawful activities in the real estate sector. We do offer a vendor list to our clients. It is by no means a paid endorsement of any kind, but rather a suggestion of quality vendors that we have used in the past that we know do exceptional work. 

5) Find Your Perfect Home and Then Get Your Pre-Approval

Buying a new home is exciting. It is no surprise that as a home buyer, one of the first things you want to do is to drive through desired neighborhoods looking at homes or attending open houses. But you should NOT focus your time on finding your desired home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Putting your pre-approval first, as many qualified real estate agents and lenders would tell you, will help your home buying process be less stressful and go much smoother. In an extremely competitive real estate market like today, having your pre-approval will give you a significant competitive edge in a scenario with multiple offers. 

April 7, 2021

When will the market cool off?

 

We are in a hot market right now! Properties are not staying on the MLS long. Many with offers in place with sight unseen. Cash offers are paving the way in the market.

The inventory of available homes for sale is now at a record low. 

It is driving competition and home prices ever higher across many regions of the country including ours. With demand for homes remaining strong, it's hard to imagine when the market might become more affordable and that has left many buyers wondering whether they should act now or just wait it out. 

Different story a year ago...

Home Buying fell off a cliff when the pandemic hit. Home sales dropped about 40%. But, while home sales bounced back last May, the inventory has not. And that's the issue, because of lack of supply, the demand is that much higher - causing prices to rise as well. Frustrated buyers want to know when this will end. As prices rise and mortgage rates climb - the housing market may cool down in the fall. But that is pure speculation.

Most people took advantage of the lower interest rates when they refinanced their homes last year - more affordable payments and shorter terms on their current mortgage may also be a reason the inventory is low.

Builders are trying their best to get new homes into inventory - but they are being bought up just as quickly. 

Who knows what the rest of 2021 will bring with the housing market. Only time will tell.  

 

March 24, 2021

Spring Home Maintenance

With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects and prepare your home for summer.

Interior

  • Change HVAC Filters
  • Clean and inspect window screens for any damage - a little work now will keep pests from inside your home
  • Look for moisture in the basement and crawl space - leaks in the spaces can be costly
  • Trim brush around the HVAC unit and clean the coils if necessary
  • Inspect the washing machine hose for cracks and dryer vent for lint buildup
  • Inspect the air ducts for buildup and possible mold, allergens and debris

 

Exterior

  • Inspect your gutters and downspouts for damage and debris
  • Trim trees and shrubs that are near your house
  • Inspect caulking around doors and windows for damage or wear
  • Inspect wooden decks, railings, windowsills and steps for any rot
  • Pressure wash patios, decks, driveway/walkways, and outdoor furniture
  • Inspect your outdoor sprinklers if necessary for any damage
  • Clean debris from foundation vents and window wells

 

Bottom Line

Spring is the perfect time to do some home maintenance. Routine home maintenance can save you the headaches of costly repairs that could be avoided. It can also help you prepare and budget for any future repairs or upgrades. Care for your home and the surrounding property, and it will continue to keep you and your family safe and comfortable. Check this list off every spring to prolong the life of your home’s building materials, landscaping, appliances and more.

Stop by our Preferred Vendors page should you need any assistance with any repairs or cleaning or maintenance. 

March 17, 2021

Irish Blessing for the Home

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we wanted to share some history behind an Irish Blessing for the home.

 

Blessing a home is an important part of Irish cultural heritage.

In years gone by, a priest was often asked to bless a new home, or when a family moved to a new home the owners would sprinkle holy water around the rooms and ask God for his blessings.

This lovely blessing is wonderful for sharing when someone moves to a new home, or it can be displayed as a saying in your home:

 

“God bless the corners of this house,
And be the lintel blest,
And bless the hearth and bless the board,
And bless each place of rest,
And bless each door that opens wide
To stranger as to kin,
And bless each crystal window pane
That lets the starlight in,
And bless the rooftree overhead
And every sturdy wall.
The peace of man,
the peace of God,
The peace of love on all.”

 

March 10, 2021

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring.

Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to sell your house if you’re ready.

1. There’s high demand from homebuyers.

Buyer demand is strong right now, and buyers are active in the market. ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, recently announced that buyer showings are up 51.5% compared to this time last year. Daniil Cherkasskiy, Chief Analytics Officer at ShowingTime, notes:

“As anticipated, demand for real estate remains elevated and continues to be affected by low levels of inventory…On average, each home is getting 50 percent or more requests this year compared to January of last year. As we head into the busy season, it’s likely we’ll push into even more extreme territory until the supply starts catching up with demand.”

When your house is positioned to get a ton of attention from competitive buyers, you’re in the best spot possible as the seller.

2. There aren’t enough houses for sale.

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available houses for sale. Recently, realtor.com reported:

“Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale in February decreased by 48.6% over the past year, a higher rate of decline compared to the 42.6% drop in January. This amounted to 496,000 fewer homes for sale compared to February of last year.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also reveals that, while home sales are skyrocketing, the inventory of existing homes for sale is continuing to drop dramatically. Houses are essentially selling as fast as they’re hitting the market – in fact, NAR reports that the average house is on the market for only 21 days.

It’s this imbalance between high buyer demand and a low supply of houses for sale that gives sellers such an advantage. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is low. That’s exactly what’s happening in the real estate market today.

3. You have a lot of leverage in today’s market.

Clearly, many more people are interested in buying than selling this spring, creating the ultimate sellers’ market. When this happens, homeowners in a position to sell have the upper hand in negotiations.

According to NAR, agents are reporting an average of 3.7 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars. As a seller, this means the ball is in your court – so much so that you can use your leverage to negotiate the best possible contract. Demand is there, and now is the perfect time to sell for the most favorable terms.

4. It’s a great way to use your home equity.

According to the latest data from CoreLogic, as of the third quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained $17,000 in equity over the past year, and that number continues to grow as home values appreciate. Equity is a type of forced savings that grows during your time as a homeowner and can be put toward bigger goals like buying your next dream home.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, notes:

“As homeowners gain equity in their homes, they are more likely to consider using that equity to purchase a larger or more attractive home – the wealth effect of rising equity. In today’s housing market, fast rising demand against the limited supply of homes for sale has resulted in continued house price appreciation.”

5. It’s a chance to find a home that meets your needs.

So much has changed over the past year, including what many of us need in a home. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many of us to re-evaluate homeownership and what we find most important in a home.

Whether it’s a house that has the features suited to working remotely, space for virtual or hybrid schooling, a home gym or theater, or something else, selling this spring gives you a chance to make a move and find the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market belongs to the sellers. If you’ve considered making a move but have been waiting for the right market conditions, your wait may be over. Contact a real estate professional so you’ll be positioned to win when you sell your house this spring.

 

March 3, 2021

Do I need a Realtor : New home Construction

I am having my next home custom-built, do I need an agent? or I am buying a new construction home, do I need an agent?

The answer a resounding YES!

You may be asking but why, what is their role in new home construction?

Your agent is YOUR advocate throughout the home building process.

Your real estate professional can help you navigate and understand the ins and outs of the home construction process.

They help you to understand the materials, the timeline, the documents. They can help you stay on budget, help with decisions like upgrades and finishes, they can help with negotiations, and help deal with any roadblocks or obstacles that can popup during the process. 

They are there to help you!

Feb. 10, 2021

Selling In A Sellers Market

If you are thinking about selling your home, now might be a good time! The market currently favors sellers because of the increased demand and the low inventory of houses on the market, leading to fierce competition among buyers. Part of what is driving this seller's market is that there is 43% less inventory on the market as compared to the market last year.

What does this mean for you as a seller?

Your home can sell twice as fast as it would have last year.

In January 2020 houses were on the market an average of 43 days, in January 2021 the average was just 21 days! Houses are also seeing more showings, the rate of showings has increased 47.2% since January 2020! 

You may end up with more than one offer.

In January 2020 the average number of offers per house was about 2.3, in January 2021 that average jumped to 3.7 offers! 

You may end up selling your house for more.

The median sales price is up 14.1%! In January 2020 the median price was $266,300, which has jumped to $303,900 in January 2021.

 

*Data provided by ShowingTime, Realtor.com, and NAR

 

Feb. 3, 2021

Making Homeownership Dreams Come True in 2021

If you’re dreaming of buying a home this year, start by connecting with a local real estate professional to understand what goes into the process. With a trusted advisor at your side, you can then begin to answer the questions below to set yourself up for homebuying success.

 

1. How Can I Better Understand the Process, and How Much Can I Afford?

The process of buying a home is not one to enter into lightly. You need to decide on key things like how long you plan on living in an area, school districts you prefer, what kind of commute works for you, and how much you can afford to spend.

Keep in mind, before you start the process to purchase a home, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure you’ve been paying your student loans, credit cards, and car loans on time. If your financial situation has changed recently, be sure to discuss that with your lender as well. Most agents have loan officers they trust and will provide referrals for you.

 

2. How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?

In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment is another critical step. Thankfully, there are many different options and resources in the market to potentially reduce the amount you may think you need to put down.

If you’re concerned about saving for a down payment, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund.

Before you know it, you’ll have enough for a down payment if you’re disciplined and thoughtful about your process.

 

3. Saving Takes Time: Practice Living on a Budget

As tempting as it is to pass the extra time you may be spending at home these days with a little retail therapy, putting that extra money toward your down payment will help accelerate your path to homeownership. It’s the little things that count, so start trying to live on a slightly tighter budget if you aren’t doing so already. A budget will allow you to save more for your down payment and help you pay down other debts to improve your credit score.

While you don’t need to cut all of the extras out of your current lifestyle, making smarter choices and limiting your spending in areas where you can slim down will make a big difference.

 

Bottom Line

If homeownership is on your dream list this year, take a good look at what you can prioritize to help you get there. To determine the steps you should take to start the process, connect with a local real estate professional today.

Jan. 27, 2021

The Benefits of Owning a Home Instead of Renting

In today’s housing market, there are clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, the chance to build your net worth, and appreciating home values, just to name a few. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to think about how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of greater financial security and savings.

 

1. You Won’t Always Have a Monthly Housing Payment

Personal finance advisor Dave Ramsey explains: “Every payment brings you closer to owning the house. When you pay your rent, that money is spent. Gone. Bye. Not returning. But when you pay your mortgage, you work toward full ownership.” As a homeowner, you can eventually eliminate the monthly payment you make on your house. That’s a huge win and a big factor in how homeownership can drive stability and savings in your life. As soon as you buy a home, your monthly housing costs begin to work for you as forced savings in the form of equity.

 

2. Homeownership Is a Tax Break

One thing people who have never owned a home don’t always think about are the tax advantages of homeownership. According to Dave Ramsey, “You do have tax advantages. Many of the costs of owning a home – like property taxes – are tax deductible. And if you’re paying off a mortgage, you’ll get to count your mortgage interest as a deduction when you file your tax return.” Whether you’re living in your first home or your fifth, it’s a huge financial advantage to have some tax relief tied to the interest you pay each year.

 

3. Monthly Housing Costs Are Predictablet

A third benefit is the fact that monthly costs start to become more predictable with homeownership, something that doesn’t happen if you’re renting. Your monthly costs are most likely based on a fixed-rate mortgage, which allows you to budget your finances over a longer period of time. Rental prices have been skyrocketing since 2012, and with today’s low mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get more for your money when purchasing a home. If you want to lock-in your monthly payment at a low rate and have a solid understanding of what you’re going to spend in your mortgage payment each month, buying a home may be your best bet.

 

So, if you’re ready to be a homeowner, give one of our agents a call today!

Jan. 20, 2021

Homeownership: 6 Benefits

Over the past year, our homes have become an integral part of our lives more than ever. They’re much more than the houses we live in. They’re our workplaces, virtual schools, and safe havens that provide shelter, stability, and protection through the evolving health crisis. Today, 65.8% of Americans are fortunate enough to call their homes their own.

As we continue to think about the future, our goals for the year, and what we want to achieve well beyond 2021, it’s a great time to look at the benefits of owning a home. Below are some highlights and quotes on the benefits of homeownership shared by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). From feel-good motivations to economic and social impacts on the local community, these items may give you a reason to believe homeownership stretches well beyond your financial investment.

 

Non-Financial Benefits

Owning a home brings a sense of happiness, satisfaction, and pride.

Pride of Ownership: It feels good to have a place that’s truly your own, especially since you can customize it to your liking. “The personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment achieved through homeownership can enhance psychological health, happiness and well-being for homeowners and those around them.”

Civic Participation: Homeownership creates stability, a sense of community, and increases civic engagement. It’s a way to add to the strength of your local area and drive value into your neighborhood.

Financial Benefits

Buying a home is also an investment in your financial future.

Net Worth: Homeownership builds your net worth. Today, the median household net worth of all homeowners is $254,900, while the median net worth of renters is only $6,270.

Financial Security: Equity, appreciation, and more predictable monthly housing expenses are huge financial benefits of owning a home. Homeownership is truly the best way to improve your long-term financial position.

Economic Benefits

Homeownership is even a local economic driver.

Housing-Related Spending: An economic force throughout our nation, housing-related expenses accounted for more than one-sixth of the country’s economic activity over the past three decades.

Entrepreneurship: Homeownership is also a form of forced savings that can provide entrepreneurial opportunities. “Owning a home enables new entrepreneurs to obtain access to credit to start or expand a business and generate new jobs by using their home as collateral for small business loans.”

Bottom Line

The benefits of homeownership go well beyond the basics. Homeownership is truly a way to build financial freedom, find greater satisfaction and happiness, and make a substantial impact in your community. If owning a home is part of your dream this year, contact a local real estate professional to begin the home buying process today.