Category Archives for "Real Estate News"
All Charlotte NC Real Estate News including, Charlotte Homes for Sale, and Charlotte NC Real Estate Market Reports, and trends
All Charlotte NC Real Estate News including, Charlotte Homes for Sale, and Charlotte NC Real Estate Market Reports, and trends
We’ve all seen the news about big investors making their way through Charlotte buying up hundreds of properties. And if you’re like me, you were left wondering, “How can I get in on the action?”
Now that the major investment companies have all but left Charlotte, some people said it was a sign that the time to buy is behind us.
Well they’re wrong!
Forbes ranked the top 20 U.S. Cities that were the best places to invest in housing in 2014; Ranking the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area No. 3!
Without these big investment companies, there is more opportunity for the rest of us to still get a great price on a new home.
The most important factor now is TIME!
As with any good deal, you need to act quickly while the prices and rates are still low to get the most bang for your buck, as they say.
This ranking reviewed the top 100 metropolitan areas using US census data. These 100 cities were then ranked on four factors: Population, home prices, home value and the local job economy.
Charlotte achieved the third spot because it has high population and job growth, and relatively low home prices that are most importantly, undervalued.
All together it makes buying a home in Charlotte a relatively low-risk investment.
The key to this ranking is the price that homes would have been without the recession and other external factors.
\As long as homes prices are below this price, then the home is undervalued, and typically a good investment.
In Charlotte, homes are 15% undervalued. That’s an average savings of over $36,000!
What this really means:
Buyers: Charlotte is one of the best places to invest in the entire country. This is because of its potential for growth and improvement, along with its low priced and undervalued homes.
Whether you are buying a home for yourself or looking for an investment property, the key is to buy now while the prices and mortgage rates are still low.
As the rates and prices gradually increase, this is fewer savings in your pocket.
If you are considering investing in Charlotte this year, please leave a comment in the section below. We welcome your thoughts on why you think it’s a great deal. And if you don’t, tell us why as well.
If you are ready to get to make the next move, click here for some of best deals hitting the market now!
After years of declining home values, 2014 could be the year for all home sellers, especially in Charlotte, NC. So if you want to sell your home, be sure to put your best foot forward. To start, here’s a quick guide to help you sell your home in 2014.
Change your real estate agent. If your agent wasn’t able to sell your home this year, then you might need to change to another agent. Maybe, that simple change can make all the difference you need to finally sell your home because of newer strategies or approach.
Hire a professional photographer. This is considered one of the most important yet overlooked steps in property marketing. Since we live in the Internet generation, there’s a higher chance of selling your home if it is posted online or in advertisements where pictures are necessary. With the help of professional photographer, he can help make your house look great that will surely entice a lot of buyers.
Get help from home stagers or designers. Most real estate agents work with some excellent home designers and stagers so be sure to get their services too as they can help enhance the overall look and feel of your home. Although other homeowners believe that this is a waste of money, there are actually home stagers that charge per hour, which is an advantage on your part.
Screen your buyers. To save time, you need to make sure that your potential buyers are preapproved. This means that need to have their credit and employment checked to determine the amount they can borrow. This is part of your agent’s responsibility to get in touch with your buyer’s loan officers.
Have your property inspected. If your home hasn’t gone through inspection yet, then you must consider doing this now. You have to allot a few weeks or months so the inspector can assess and repair your home of its big and small problems. Remember, most buyers prefer to purchase a home that doesn’t need too much repairs.
Use other marketing options. Have you exhausted all marketing options available today? If not, then be sure to research for other possible marketing options today aside from newspaper ads or flyers. This includes using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other sites that buyers usually check. If you hired a well-experienced and reliable real estate agent, then this won’t be a problem because he should know the necessary marketing options available today.
Ready to take the next step? Showcase Realty is here to help! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the sale of your home, we can provide honest and knowledgeable answers. Showcase Realty can sell your home fast and for top top dollar. Contact us today! 704.997.3794.
With the increasing number of environmental problems these days, each of us has the responsibility to do something to help save the environment. In your own simple ways, you can help through making home improvements that do not only beautify and add value to your home, but also helps conserve the environment. Below are some of these eco-friendly home improvement tips.
Monitor your electricity consumption. This is made possible through buying digital displays that allow you to monitor your electricity consumption similar to a meter in a taxi. In this way, you would be less wasteful.
Install skylights in your roof. Installing skylights helps natural sunlight in illuminating your house, especially in those pesky dark areas in your house.
Use solar panels or a miniature wind turbine. Solar heating is very useful, especially in providing basic energy within your home such as lighting and heating water. The good thing about this is it makes pure and clean energy. At the same time, you can store the energy in a battery for later use. You can also install a miniature wind turbine which can also help generate renewable energy.
Invest in low wattage light bulbs. Such kind of bulb helps save energy easily. It’s sometimes brighter than the standard light bulbs but consumes lesser energy.
Improve your roof. There had been researches conducted indicating that roof color and the types of material you use in your roof can greatly lower the temperature in attics. For instance, consider using white tiles when re-roofing as it has properties that can reduce heat gain.
Install a motion detector outside your home. Such devices help a lot in saving energy because your light fixtures will only be activated by motion sensors or a timer.
Make use of low flow showerheads. These items are a worthwhile investment because they help cut down water usage and save energy expenses.
Purchase energy-efficient appliances. Investing in such items is one of the most effective ways of saving energy. Remember, home appliances use about 18% of a typical home’s total energy bill so investing in energy-efficient appliances can help lower down your expenses. These appliances bear “Energy Star” logo which means they use 10% to 50% less energy and water than other standard models.
Save water through using certain devices. There are actually some devices you can purchase that help save water. For instance, you can use an aerator on all your household faucets to cut your annual consumption of water into half. You can also install a low-flow toilet to increase your water savings.. But aside from this, you should also do some behavioral changes that save water too.
Did you miss our radio show that aired live last Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM? No worries, if you missed it or want to listen again you can watch the podcast available now on ITunes and coming soon to www.charlottemarketradio.com.
Our last episode discussed one common dilemma most homeowners face and this is renting versus buying, which is better? According to Mecktimes and Trulia’s statistics, buying a house is better than renting one; specifically if you live within Charlotte, North Carolina. During the summer of 2013, buying a home was actually cheaper by 44 percent than renting. The difference between both narrowed since summer of 2012, where it was 54 percent cheaper to buy than to rent.
Furthermore, by Trulia’s estimate, the mortgage rate tipping point, when renting becomes cheaper than buying, is at 13.3 percent for Charlotte. And according to Bankrate.com, the current mortgage rates are 4.12 to 4.62.
The benefits of owning a home were also presented, here are a few:
On the other hand, the downside of renting was also discussed.
For first time homebuyers, there are special lending programs you can rely on like HUD homes. If you live in Charlotte, be sure to get a certificate first from attending an 8-hour Home Buyer workshop and get up to $7,500 which you can use as down payment and closing costs.
For those who have been hurt by the economic downturn by a short sale or foreclosure; good news because you can now purchase a house in much less time because of a recent change in the rules. FHA has loosened their guidelines allowing borrowers to get a home loan in as little as 12 months after a foreclosure or short sale.
Last but not the least, the 3 most common myths of buying versus renting were also discussed, which are as follows:
Myth #1 A bigger down payment is always better
You don’t need to put 20% as down payment..
Myth # 2 You get more for your money in the suburbs
Savings from lower-cost housing often are wiped out by unexpectedly high transportation costs.
Myth #3: Renters escape property taxes
Renters don’t pay property taxes directly; any business minded landlord factors in all of their carrying costs into their rental rates so it’s like they’re paying the taxes of the landlord.
For more information and elaboration on the topics discussed, listen to our podcast.
On the next episode of our radio show, we will discuss how to get your home ready for the market. If you have any questions or clarifications, please don’t hesitate to call us at 704-440-0007. We’re always happy to answer your queries.
Regardless of the type of business you have today, social media has become a necessity for most businesses to be successful including real estate. Social media, such as, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the most excellent tools you can use for marketing. But there are actually other channels you can use such as Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and more. But as a real estate agent, why should you really use social media? Here are some answers to your questions.
Remember that approximately one billion people across the world are using at least one social media site and these are all your potential clients, you simply just need to meet them there and get their attention.
In order to get top dollar for your Charlotte NC home for sale, it needs to look great inside and out. Small adjustments to your home can really improve it’s curb appeal without costing you a fortune.
The infographic below has tips and quick fixes to improve the value of your home and make it more desirable to buyers. Tips below include keeping trimmed bushes and a mowed lawn to make a the best first impression possible. Quick fixes like painting over cracks in the walls and replacing old doorknobs can go a long way to make the home look well cared for and updated.
Beyond simple maintenance and repairs the infographic suggests many decorating tips to make any space feel bigger, brighter and more inviting. It even describes the effects of feng shui and colory theory techniques on a space. For example, dark narrow hallways are made to seem more spacious by hanging a mirror at the end. The color green is also a refreshing color the promotes relaxation and recuperation; consider painting the living room or master bedroom this color.
If you have a Charlotte home for sale, these tips could mean the difference between a competitive bidding war and low offers. View the rest of the tips below! Also click the image, if you’d like to view it larger.
Nancy Braun was quoted three times by The Mecklenburg Times in the last several weeks. The first one, “South End by Southwest” was covered in a previous blog post. The two most recent articles
The article in September 27th issue of The Mecklenburg Times covers the investor activity in Charlotte, titled “Reits: Industry Insiders are Wondering Where the Phenomenon Will Lead.” During May, June and July, one in every five homes were sold to investors. One the surface this seems like a good thing. Large companies purchase distressed properties, fix them up and then rent them out. This demand lowers the supply and increasing competition.
But the clarity dissipates and the fog of uncertainty begins to cloud the issues when real estate professionals start to consider what that means for the market, now and in the long term.
Pretty much everyone agrees that the real estate investment trusts and other institutional investment firms that since the recession have bought thousands of homes in the Charlotte market – nearly 2,000 in May, June and July – have “jump-started the Charlotte real estate market,” in the words of Nancy Braun, owner and broker-in-charge of Showcase Realty.
They agree that many of the homes were distressed, financially and structurally, and that Wall Street has helped clean up some of the mess left by Wall Street in the mortgage-bundling fiasco.
And they agree that institutional investors are helping the market meet a demand for rental homes, as more former homeowners and more likely first-time buyers are either forced or are choosing to lead more liquid lifestyles.
The article published in the September 17th edition of The Mecklenburg Times covered foreclosure activity which is closely tied to influx of investors. The article, titled “Foreclosure Activity Down from Last Year” discussed the amount of foreclosures on the market and it’s general downward trend over the passed year. However August presented interesting numbers — an increase in foreclosures. Nancy gave her thoughts on one possible explanation for this increase.
One possible explanation is that because housing prices are climbing, inventory is shrinking, and institutional investors are buying houses at a rate never seen before, lenders have decided to initiate the foreclosure process. Or the lenders may have just begun the process after unsuccessfully working with homeowners on loan modifications, which have been stressed by President Barack Obama’s administration.
Braun said she recently worked on a short sale in which the homeowner hadn’t made a payment in 30 months before being notified that the lender was starting the foreclosure process.
“Maybe it makes sense to pull the trigger and foreclose on the properties they’ve been sitting on,” she said. “I don’t think anyone truly has a handle on what the shadow inventory is, but there is a shadow inventory.”
Shadow inventory includes homes that may be in default or in the foreclosure process that have not been placed on the market.
Investor presence and bank activities on foreclosures definitely have effected the market. Short term it has seemed to jumpstart the market and result in stronger prices and quicker sales. While no one can know what the future holds or how the market will react in the long term, Nancy will continue to share her insights as things unfold.
Using these websites and programs to their fullest potential can set you out from the crowd, and become a five star agent.
With over 225 million members, LinkedIn is important for business. It’s a great networking tool. This is also another great place to receive recommendations. View my LinkedIn Profile.
2. Active Rain
Belonging to a real estate community outside of your office gives you access to a wealth of information. Active Rain is where agents can connect, share and learn, by reading and posting blogs, and asking and answering questions. Even if you don’t ask or answer questions, you can read about hot topics or search previously answered questions. View my Active Rain Blog.
Digital signature programs are convenient, save time, and are important in a growing paperless world. DocuSign is what we use at our Charlotte NC real estate office. We promote DocuSign as a service to our customers, because we no longer have to meet face to face to sign documents.
With so many things in the mix in day to day, Evernote is a great way to store and organize current clients, past clients, leads, check lists and notes. Never drop the ball again, and free up space in your mind with extremely organized notes, categories, all in Evernote.
5. Voice Cloud
You’re not always going to be available to answer your phone, meetings, showings, other phone calls get in the way – this is when Voice Cloud is great. Voicemail to text transcription can be a life saver to filter through voicemails when you can’t answer, and help you immediately follow up with urgent calls.
In today’s digital information age, interested buyers and sellers will look for you online before doing business with you. For them to find you, you must be online. For the best results you need to be on as many places at the same time as possible. This can be overwhelming, and impractical. With Facebook, twitter, Pinterest and blogs, the list is never ending.
To increase your business what technologies should every real estate agent implement?
Smart phones are here to stay and they are only getting smarter. If you don’t have a smart phone by now, you run the risk of looking dated and out of sync with the rest of world. If this is the only new technology you implement, take the plunge on this one.
With access to 1,000’s of apps, a smarter phone can help you connect with everyone in your sphere. There are also several options for cloud based apps, giving you access to all your documents, presentations, or flyers anywhere you are.
If you’ve already committed to a smart phone, consider purchasing a tablet. Popularity and preference of tablets over computers and laptops is growing. Imagine showing a presentation on your tablet instead of flipping through a stack of papers.
We recommend the Ipad specifically. The Windows Surface or Samsung Galaxy Tab have more options, but when you consider ease of use, right out of the box, The Ipad has a much more simplified format. This is easier for users to just grab it and go, especially users who are less tech savvy
With over 225 million members, LinkedIn is important for business. If you’re not a fan of social media, or don’t have time for all the different platforms, at least create a profile on LinkedIn. It shows that you are in tune with the professional world, and it’s a good place to house your experience, abilities and any awards.
Because it’s a website of professional looking for professionals, LinkedIn is a great networking tool. You can use it to keep in touch with colleges, and tech savvy client will use this as a reference. This is also another great place to receive recommendations.
Once you have found a company with a good internal training structure, become a member of an online community. Belonging to a real estate community outside of your office gives you access to a wealth of information.
You can join a Facebook group (Raise the Bar in Real Estate and Tech Support for Agents are the most active), become a member of a real estate blogging site like Active Rain, or join a List-Serve email list where agents ask and answer questions. Even if you don’t ask or answer questions yourself, you can read about hot topics or search previous posts to see if your question has been answered before.
Danny Mareco, Director of Marketing at Showcase Realty, advises, “Don’t jump on the next fad just because you think you have to. People will see through that.”
If you are going to blog, provide useful information; don’t just tout your accomplishments. If you are going to create a social media profile, keep it updated. The main focus of technology today is connection – connecting all of our tools and devices together through apps and cloud, and connecting us to each other through social and networking sites.
If you are just using it to ‘be out there’, you’re missing the point; these technologies are supposed to make life easier, not feel like a burden. That tune will ring flat in many of your clients’ ears.