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5 Reasons NOW is the Time to Sell

If you’ve been thinking about selling your Charlotte home, now is the time. Inventory is hitting record-lows which means buyers are clamoring for the perfect house. Spring/summer 2013 is set to be a perfect storm for sellers: there isn’t a deluge of inventory but there are more willing buyers than there have been in years.

If you’re considering selling your house, contact Leigh Bryant at On the Move Charlotte to talk specifics today. Leigh is a listing specialist which means she’s well-versed on market prices, available inventory, and knowing how to move your Charlotte home.

1. Inventory is lower than it’s been in years.

Take a look at this graph. The bottom line represents the month of April in any given year while the left-hand side essentially lists the ratio of houses that are “left over” on the market after all the sales are tallied each month. In April 2011 the ratio was about 11 houses…in April 2013 that ratio is closer to 6.7.

Monthly Inventory Graph

2. More people can afford homes.

The Housing Affordability Index is the number brokers around the state use to compare the average price of homes in the region with the buying power of those looking to purchase. The higher the number, the more “affordability” the market has, which is a good thing for sellers looking for a wide market.

Housing Affordability

3. Sellers are getting more for their house.

In the last few months, sellers have been getting relatively more for their homes than this time last year. On average, sellers are now receiving around 93% of list price…in 2011 that number was closer to 90%. When talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, 3% can make a substantial difference to a seller.

Percentage Received

4. The average list price is on the rise.

On average, homes are being listed for almost 10% more this April than they were at the same time in 2011. That’s a huge difference, and one that can tip the scales towards time to sell. But beware: housing prices won’t keep skyrocketing forever, and all signs point to now being the time to sell to maximize profit while minimizing time on the market.

average list price

5. Leigh Bryant is ready to sell your home.

Leigh knows the Charlotte market like the back of her hand and she’s telling all her potential sellers that now’s the time to strike. If you’ve been thinking about putting your Charlotte home on the market, call Leigh at 704.516.3318 today to talk about your options. Leigh is part of the On the Move Charlotte team at Keller Williams South Park and would love the opportunity to help you sell your home!

Leigh Bryant, Realtor®

 

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Contact On the Move Charlotte today for more information about the conditions in your neighborhood or to speak with a licensed broker.

How to Know When You’re Ready to Buy Your First Home

 

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make. It’s a commitment that requires research, forethought, and a lot of financial planning. Knowing when you’re ready is an entirely personal decision, but it doesn’t have to be subjective.

Here are a few signs you may be inching closer to the decision to buy your first house…

YOU’RE STABLE

Of course, being stable financially is the #1 precursor to buying a home. It’s important to have a steady source of income as well as a handle on any outstanding debt – mortgage lenders will want to know everything from your student loan payments to your tax write-offs before giving you a loan. In fact, most major lenders require those with less traditional streams of income (i.e. freelancers, all-commission salespeople) to have at least 2 years of stable W-2 income before they’ll even consider a loan.

YOUR CREDIT IS GOOD

You don’t have to have perfect credit to buy a home, but the better your score the better your APR is likely to be. A good credit score is a sign you’re responsible enough financially to manage the burden of a mortgage, both to lenders and to home buyers themselves. Of course, there are all kinds of loan packages available to people who don’t meet traditional requirements but be very wary of any deal that seems too good to be true and always talk to a financial adviser before signing.

YOU’RE STAYING PUT

The general rule in home buying is that purchasing a home is a safe financial investment only when you know you’ll live there for 5 years or more. There are exceptions to this rule in every state but if your job’s in flux, you may need to change school districts, or you’re just not sure you like the neighborhood, consider waiting a while to dive into a home.

 

YOU’VE DONE YOUR RESEARCH

Say you happen to wander into a beautiful open house one Sunday and you fall in love…this could be your first home! Never let home buying become an overly emotional experience and be sure you do thorough research on the area, other homes for sale, and mortgage rates before you pen an offer. On average, a home buyer spends 12 weeks searching for a home before finding the right one, looking closely at at least 10 homes before buying.

YOU HAVE THE CASH FOR A DOWN PAYMENT

Typically a 20% down payment is needed to secure a traditional home loan. There are packages available that don’t follow this guideline but if you’ve got enough money to put down 20% odds are you’re in a good position financially to invest in a home. Never, ever “stretch” yourself to buy the perfect house – don’t scrape together an extra few thousand to have enough for the down payment only to find yourself struggling each month to meet the mortgage.

YOU CAN HANDLE THE COSTS

Home ownership comes with all kinds of costs renters are simply unaware of. Even brand new homes will need maintenance every month – lawn care, trash pickup, cleaning services. Be sure you’re ready to handle the sudden onslaught of bills from a plumber or the cost of a broken fridge. Research different home options; condos typically cost less to maintain than single-family homes. Buying a home means becoming your own landlord which requires dedicated time and money.

 

First time home buyers account for over 39% of all home sales in the US each year. While 51% of these buyers are married couples the single buyers account for over 36% of the remainder.

If you’re interested in discussing the options for your first home, contact On the Move Charlotte today! We’ve been successfully representing first-time home buyers in the Charlotte area for years.

Featured Charlotte Neighborhood – Chantilly

Chantilly is one of Charlotte’s fastest-growing neighborhoods. 

Affectionately known as “little Elizabeth,” Chantilly has a flavor all its own. Located between Plaza Midwood and the Elizabeth neighborhoods in Midtown Charlotte, Chantilly was originally developed in the 1940s. Now its streets are lined with mature trees and beautifully restored craftsman-style homes, bustling with families and young professionals.

Many of Chantilly’s homes are in the craftsman style, some of which have been lovingly restored to their former glory. There’s also a lot of new construction in Chantilly but the neighborhood is growing gracefully – even the newest homes fit the streets’ aesthetics. Bordered by Independence Boulevard and Briar Creek, Chantilly is incredibly convenient to Uptown Charlotte as well as entrances to I-77 and I-277.

A few of the best features of Charlotte’s Chantilly neighborhood include…

Chantilly Park:

Chantilly Park is easily accessed by foot from most parts of the neighborhood. It’s 7 full acres of green space and includes a volleyball court, multi-purpose field, and even a playground. On weekends, the park teems with activity and the entire neighborhood is very dog friendly.

Independence Park:

Independence Park is one of the best parks in the city. Home to numerous festivals throughout the year (including Petpalooza!), the park has over 19 acres of picnic areas, playgrounds, and soccer fields. It’s an easy walk from Chantilly and there are plenty of dining options nearby, too.

Proximity to Shopping:

Chantilly Shopping Center has many retail offerings and 7th Avenue is an easy walk from most parts of Chantilly. Seventh is the beginning of the Elizabeth district and hosts tons of shops, convenience stores, and salons.

Dining Options:

Between Elizabeth and Independence, dining options abound just outside the residential streets of Chantilly. Kennedy’s Irish Pub, Crisp, Starbucks, and even fine dining at The Fig Tree are all within striking distance. Independence has dozens of fantastic ethnic restaurants, fast food options, and even a farmer’s stand.

Community:

The quiet, tree-lined streets of Chantilly are the perfect setting to raise a family. There’s a flourishing neighborhood association and the neighborhood’s on its way to commissioning signs to mark its borders. Chantilly is also close to several houses of worship as well as Novant Health (formerly Presbyterian Hospital.)

Charming Homes:

The average home for sale in Chantilly is listed around $350,000 and home values continue to rise. As development resumes in and around the neighborhood, homes in Chantilly aren’t staying on the market for long, particularly the pristine crafstmans that populate the neighborhood. Many of the homes in Chantilly must stick to historical guidelines when being redone, so homes here retain a lot of character.

 

On the Move Charlotte is your Chantilly real estate team.
If you’d like to know more about the homes for sale in one of Charlotte’s most desirable communities, call the On the Move Charlotte team at 704-516-3318 today.

Explore all the homes for sale in Chantilly here.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Bigger House

Knowing when to “upgrade” is half the battle in real estate. Over the last few years there’s been a lot of talk about downsizing and living smaller but the fact is, some growing families need more space, not less. The move-up buyer is one of the demographics spurning the real estate market comeback…home prices are currently at 2002/2003 levels but increasing every day. If you’ve been waiting out the market, now’s the perfect time to buy a larger home.

The average first home is around 1,500 square feet and most first-time buyers have a family size of about 2.7 people. Second homes, however, average 2,000+ square feet and are getting larger. Did you know that in 2010, the median size for a new-construction home in the US was almost 2,400 square feet?

So, how do you know when your family is ready for a bigger house? Here are a few signs the On the Move Charlotte team has noticed usually mean it’s time to “move up.”

Your Family is Growing

The number one reason people decide to buy a larger home is an increase in family size. Many people buy their first home before they have children and only realize they need more space once more kids come into the picture. Children aren’t the only way families grow, either. From a new pet to a live-in parent, families expand in all sorts of ways which means a need for more bedrooms, bathrooms, and even parking spaces.

You Want Your Amenities In-House

As cities spread out, more and more families find themselves choosing suburban life over urban dwelling. Larger homes slightly further out from retail and restaurants encourage homeowners to install much of what they need inside their houses. Home gyms are increasingly popular as are gourmet-style kitchens. Why join a neighborhood swim club when you can upgrade to a house that already has a pool in the backyard?

Your Needs Have Changed

Large homes simply aren’t appropriate for every stage of life. A single 27-year old man in Charlotte likely needs less space but more walkability, but his needs may change when he’s 35, married, and has two kids. Perhaps you’ve started an at-home business and you need an extra bedroom to use as an office. Maybe your kids are of an age where you’d like a finished basement for them to spread out. Whatever the case, shifting priorities are a fact of life and they’re often the motivating factor for a move up buyer.

You’ve Recouped Your Equity

If you purchased your current home before the real estate downturn five years ago you’ve likely been waiting to sell until the timing’s right. Well, the timing’s right. Mortgage rates are hitting record lows (some hovering around 2.5%) and in many parts of the country the “seller’s market” is back. The best time to buy a bigger home is when you can sell your current place for close to if not more than you bought it for and upgrade before prices begin to skyrocket. Many Charlotte neighborhoods are experiencing exactly these conditions making 2013 one of the best times to buy a bigger home in years.

You Can Afford It

If Americans learned anything from the real estate crisis of 2008, it’s never to buy a home they can’t afford. Before you know if you’re ready for a bigger home, spend some time researching mortgage rates and talk to a financial adviser to find out if taking on more debt is in your best interest. Real estate is and always has been a solid long-term financial investment and buying a bigger home when your family needs one can often be a savvy money move. If you determine you can comfortably afford the payment, manage the increased utility expenses, and furnish a larger house, you may be ready to upgrade.

 

Call the brokers at On the Move Charlotte today to talk about whether or not it’s time for your family to begin looking for a larger house. Buying a bigger home is an important decision, but one that most families find necessary and even rewarding at some point during home ownership. Leigh Bryant, John Elliott, and Michelle Duyck will work with you to find the best home for your current needs.

704.516.3318

 

Tips for Ensuring a Favorable Home Appraisal

Appraisals are big business in the real estate industry, referenced by both lenders and homebuyers as a benchmark for a property’s “true” value. Recently, however, as reported by Reuters, homeowners are having a difficult time obtaining what they believe to be a fair estimate for the value of their home from California to Florida.

A low appraisal can impact a homeowner in several ways. In many cases, homeowners seeking a refinance are denied when a bank-ordered appraisal comes up short. Other homeowners looking to sell find resistance from the market when they list their homes above its appraised value.

If you’re going to undergo an inspection by an official licensed appraiser in the near future, here are a few suggestions for ensuring you get the very best appraisal value possible for your home.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT APPRAISER

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when ordered to get an appraisal is to choose an appraiser who doesn’t have intimate knowledge of their specific neighborhood. If you’re able to choose your own appraiser, select one who’s based no more than 10-miles away from your home and preferably living in your community. If the bank is selecting the appraiser specifically request they send a local licensee.

KEEP GOOD RECORDS

Before the appraiser ever arrives at your home, take some time to pull records concerning every upgrade or renovation you’ve made to the house. Include receipts from home improvement stores and estimates for work done on the house and before-and-after pictures, if possible. It’s also smart to reference local comparables in the neighborhood you think the appraiser should be made aware of. Ask your real estate broker to help identify three solid comps near your home and be sure they find the right hands.

CLEAN UP AND BE CONFIDENT

Just like homebuyers, appraisers are human beings and often have a hard time seeing past a home that’s cluttered, dirty, or overgrown. Present your home to an appraiser the same way you would to the open market to get the best results. Never follow the appraiser around while they’re in your home unless specifically requested – appraisers say not being allowed space to properly inspect the home is a surefire sign the owner has something to hide.

GET YOUR OWN APPRAISAL

If you’re in a situation like as a refinance where you’re forced to work with an appraiser not of your choosing, shell out a few hundred dollars and get an appraisal of your own. You’ll likely have more control over the selected licensee and can lobby against a bad appraisal with a higher one if necessary.

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Don’t be afraid to get directly involved in your home appraisal. Many homeowners don’t understand that an appraisal happens with them, not to them, and may underestimate the impact pointed questions and suggestions can have on the appraisal outcome.

If you’re looking for a qualified appraiser in your area or just have questions about whether or not you need a home appraisal, call Leigh Bryant’s team at Keller Williams Southpark to speak about your options.