Durham, NC Real Estate News

By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
Risks of Buying a Foreclosure If you ask homebuyers why they are looking at foreclosures, the answer often is, “Because they’re such a good deal.” The word “deal” for me is on par with other four letter words which I won’t mention (but you can guess). Deal is a selfish word. Deal is one of those temptation words. What kind of deal comes with no risk? You get a deal on that car – do you really expect that ugly orange color to be good at trade-in? You get a deal on clothes – are you sure they’re going to be in style long enough to wear them more than a few times? What kind of deal do you get on food that has less than 1,000 calories or 200% of your daily sodium allowance? Are those really a deal? Well, buying a foreclosure home CAN be a good deal for those buyers who have some cash to put...
Comments 1
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
I noticed that Walmart has a tv commercial on that shows the return of layaway for the holidays. Then I started thinking about way back when people made their holiday wish list after dog-earring the Sears catalogue. (I know some readers will think that was back in the Flintstone days)! Layaway meant that you had to pay for the item in full before you could take it home and that you had to figure out how you would make money to make the payments on it. The truth is that layaway was much better for the consumer; back in the days before immediate gratification took over and people now buy gifts with their credit cards and figure out how they will pay for them later. The dictionary definition of layaway should say, "budgeting tool". I hope that homebuyers will think about layaway this holid...
Comments 3
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
  (Originally seen on Amy Shair, Durham Real Estate's Blog) Growing up my mom hated when we would burn candles. She would have flashbacks to a kitchen fire that occurred when she was a child. There were candles burning in the kitchen and it caused their kitchen cabinets to catch on fire. No one was injured but it did a lot of damage to their kitchen. Needless to say there were never trick candles on my birthday cakes... and I wasn't allowed to have a Lite Brite either. Winter means extra fire hazards inside your home. Space heaters, candles, wood burning fireplaces, extension cords, plus all the extra decorating items that are used can be dangerous. Consider these questions: Do you have a fire extinguisher? Does everyone in your house know where it is? Is it buried under the kitchen si...
Comments 3
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
(As originally seen on Amy Shair Durham Real Estate's blog) Hi this is Amy Shair. I’ve been out showing buyers some properties recently, and I wonder if buyers are forgetting about something...Location, location, location. You know buyers are talking about getting the best price, they're talking about getting the best looking house in terms of curb appeal and colors and updates. They're talking about things like kitchens and baths, wanting stainless steel cabinets, and they want tile. But I wonder if they're forgetting about location. Private backyard, a big backyard, if the house is walking distance to the community pool to restaurants, to shops and things like that, to the local library, anything you might appreciate well I promise will be a component for resale too. If you’re a buyer...
Comments 4
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
(As originally seen on Amy Shair Durham Real Estate's blog). When you buy a new home, many parts of the process are different than when you buy a resale home. It is fun to build a home from the ground up, but new construction is not the best choice for everyone. Part 1 discussed the first four differences. Here are others: 5) Financing. When you get your loan, interest rate locks are quoted for 60 days. That means to be sure that you will get the interest rate quoted when you tell the lender you're ready to make your decision, the lender can only guarantee (or lock) that rate for 60 days. If you need a longer time because the construction process will take several months you must decide if you will pay extra for an extended lock of the interest rate or wait until 60 days from closing to...
Comments 2
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
(As originally seen on Amy Shair Durham Real Estate's blog).When you buy a new home, many parts of the process are different than when you buy a resale home.   It is fun to build a home from the ground up, but new construction is not the best choice for everyone. Consider this list of differences before you decide if building a home is right for you: 1) Paperwork. Builders often have their own contracts which are quite different than the state bar contract used on a resale home. 2) Deposit. New construction usually has a 2 part deposit. The initial deposit and if you choose your upgrades and options the builder may require a 2nd deposit which is a percentage of the cost of the upgrades.One of both of the deposits may be listed as non-refundable which means even if you get turned down f...
Comments 3
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
I recently got a new listing. Interesting house but it was vacant and did not show well. The previous photos in MLS were not appealing. In this market, buyers want to see the house at its best or they will keep looking until the price is super low. The sellers agreed to have a stager bring in furniture and accessories. (if you live in the Raleigh Durham NC area, check out Triangle Staging and Design )While this investment cost the sellers money, the house looks fantastic! The sellers live out of the area and haven't seen the house in a long time. The stager sent me photos of the house after staging which I forwarded to my sellers. The seller's response: "The house looks great - makes me want to move back in!"THAT is what will help sell the house. Compelling pictures, a good price and ap...
Comments 4
By Nogui Aramburo, Real Estate Professional in the Raleigh Area
(Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®)
This Saturday morning at peak market time (9-11 am, Oct. 15th), Prudential York Simpson Underwood agents will be digging in the dirt at Durham Central Park & Farmer's Market garden.  They will be pruning, putting in many new plantings, and sprucing up the "Prudential Garden" section. The garden that Prudential YSU gave birth to in 2003* and has fostered with over $15,000 dollars worth of sculpture, rock walls, and plantings has grown and matured along with the Farmer's Market’s utilization and popularity. "I've been so inspired by the energy and involvement of our agents in these work days. They really care about this garden”, says Tracey Goetz, PRUYSU's manager, who has been up to her elbows in dirt as often as the agents.   "In the first work day we had over 30 people who cut out a se...
Comments 0
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
(As originally posted on Amy Shair Durham Real Estate's blog).  If you have parents who are getting older and you are concerned about them staying in their home, you are not alone. Here are some common concerns you may have: 1) Health Concerns – Your parents may have already experienced falls, accidents, or a diagnosis with an illness that will affect their ability to live on their own long-term 2) Mental Issues – Your parents are experiencing forgetfulness, dementia, or depression 3) Home Maintenance – Your parents are continuing to do home maintenance tasks that might be risky such as cleaning gutters, changing light bulbs or air filters requiring a ladder, raking leaves or shoveling snow 4) Caretaker Concerns – One parent is the sole caretaker for the other which puts pressure on the...
Comments 25
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
(Originally noted on Amy Shair, Durham Real Estate's blog) I was asked a question today and I thought that many more of you were probably wondering the same thing. The question was, “What is shadow inventory?”.     Shadow inventory is related to foreclosures sales. The term shadow inventory represents properties that are foreclosed by a mortgage company but are not listed for sale by the bank right now. That makes you want to ask, “Well, why would the bank want shadow inventory?” They don’t exactly want it; they have a couple of reasons to justify the fact that all of their foreclosures are not on the market. 1) They are inundated with foreclosures and short sales so they are short staffed. and 2) The would probably tell you that it takes them a long time to finish processing all of the...
Comments 2
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
Home Staging in Today's Real Estate Market (As originally seen on http://www.AmyShair.com/blog) Staging is more than just a buzz word in today's real estate market. If you sold your home 10+ years ago staging might be a foreign word. The reality is that staging is a necessity to get your home sold in a buyer's market. What is home staging? The definition of home staging is: The act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want. (Wikipedia) What things are included in staging ...
Comments 4
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
Hi this is Amy Shair at www.AmyShair.com, when I show property I get asked all the time how much it’s going to cost to upgrade a kitchen. So I thought I would take a couple of minutes and go through the breakdown of the top things buyers are looking for and the average cost of the kitchen upgrades. The top three things that buyers want in a kitchen are: Hard wood floors Granite countertops Stainless steel appliances Hard Wood Floors:  So starting off with hard wood floors, they can be regular hardwood floors. Some people are comfortable with laminate, engineer, pre-installed. There are different types out there. But for factory finish installed which is going to be the easiest for an existing home a 12 by 12 room is going to cost you about $1800.00 installed. Granite Countertops:  For ...
Comments 6
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
(As originally shared on www.amyshair.com/blog).  Funkify is a word I created to describe when a person makes a change to their home that works for them and doesn't work for anyone else. Putting built-in wall to wall shelves for your 1000 miniature antique doll collection is not going to work well for resale. Choosing that gorgeous, expensive, one-of-a-kind sink for your master bath might get you oohs and ahs from friends and the salesperson at the design gallery, but buyers might be put off when you go to sell that house in 3 years. I love when clients call and ask questions like "I want to add a bathroom but I'm going to have to make my master bedroom closet smaller - is that a fair tradeoff?" or "I read that if I add a screened porch I will get back 80% of that for resale, is that tr...
Comments 7
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
I was trying to remember how many years ago I painted my master bathroom. To my amazement, it turned out to be about 11 years! Back then it was cool to use a faux finish but now it's very dated. When I think about what color I would paint it today, I'm inspired to go back in and also replace the light fixture and faucet but then I'm drying my hair and forget all about it. When sellers get ready to sell I recommend they add many of those popular features like granite countertops, oil rubbed bronze door knobs, and popular neutral palette color-scheme. If a seller only does half of those things, it just doesn't work, especially if a brand new home is competition. Brass fixtures, wallpaper or borders scream "I'm not a new house". Buyers want it all and since rumor has it that it is still a ...
Comments 5
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
I’ve heard at least 3 times this week, “Tell me what a short sale is again, Amy.” So…                   A short sale is when a lender accepts less than the total amount owed to pay off the mortgage when the property is sold. The homeowner (aka borrower) must show a qualified hardship for the bank to consider doing a short sale. Just owing the bank more than you can sell your house for right now is not enough. The homeowner has to provide proof of the hardship and detailed financial information to show they will be unable to fix their problem. Seller Considerations - When a seller has their home listed as a short sale or possible short sale it means they are telling real estate agents and potential buyers that the bank will have to approve the sale of the home after the seller/homeowner ...
Comments 1
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
    Every buyer client of mine this year who has bought a home with a mortgage has complained how much information they have had to provide to their lender. The process has become more tedious for homebuyers over the last 3 years. The silver lining is that homebuyers are getting getting home loans with incredibly low interest rates and most of my clients are getting fixed rate mortgages so they will have a low payment for as long as they own their home. Plus, clients are buying homes at very competitive prices. Buyers have 2 misconceptions about getting a mortgage: 1) If they have a substantial down payment or if their credit score is high they will not need to provide as much documentation to the bank. and 2) if they are getting a mortgage with the same mortgage company they use for t...
Comments 1
By Nogui Aramburo, Real Estate Professional in the Raleigh Area
(Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS®)
Susan Richter | Prudential York Simpson Underwood Realty | (919) 313-3470 115 Vanderbilt Ct, Durham, NC All brick, roomy transitional, close to Duke. Great for entertaining! 3BR/3+1BA Single Family House offered at $399,900 Year Built 2005 Sq Footage 2,763 Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 3 full, 1 partial Floors 2 Parking Unspecified Lot Size 13,939 sqft HOA/Maint $0 per month DESCRIPTION So close to Duke! All brick and fantastic custom finishes. Main level Master, with large walk-in. Spacious bedrooms. Great for entertaining. Granite contertops, stainless steel appliances, gas cooktop. see additional photos below PROPERTY FEATURES - Central A/C - Central heat - Fireplace - Walk-in closet - Hardwood floor - Tile floor - Family room - Living room - Bonus/Rec room - Office/Den - Dining room - Break...
Comments 0
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
As originally seen on Amy Shair, Durham Real Estate's Blog. Welcome to the buyer's market of 2011. If you're out there as a buyer right now, and you are frustrated that you can't find the right house at the right price, you are not alone. I've had several buyers in the car with me this year - we get to the house, we go through it and they say "We kinda like it. But we don't $300,000 like it, we $270,000 like it. We really don't feel like this house is worth $300,000, Amy. We'd pay maybe $270,000. I think since it's new to the market we need to just sit back and wait for the price to come down. Let's keep an eye on it." Buyers need to stop doing that. Stop waiting. You are not helping the market if you are sitting back and waiting while there is a house that you seriously like. Interest ...
Comments 2
By Amy Shair, Award-Winning Agent 25+ Years
(Cary Apex Durham NC Referrals - eXp Realty)
What is a Vent Boot and how does it work? A vent boot covers the pipes that stick out of your roof and what it does is it seals the area where the pipe comes out. I'm bringing this up to you today because replacing the vent boots is a relatively cheap repair - a handyman can do it, a homeowner can do it, or a roofer can do it. Benefit: The benefit of having the vent boots replaced is that they don't always last as long as your roof lasts. So if your roof is 7 years old or older then it is better to have them replaced rather than waiting for a rainstorm to come and find that your ceiilngs or walls or damaged or that the items you are storing in your attic are damaged. Example: This particular boot is a newer model - it is a new design that is supposed to last longer because they use a di...
Comments 2
By Bill Dandridge, GREEN, ABR, GRI, EcoBroker
(MKB, Realtors)
            Real estate consumers today can find ample value in distressed homes – properties that are under a foreclosure order or up for short sale. In many cases, however, “distressed” speaks more for the condition of the homes than their recent financial histories, as they’ve sat empty for extended periods and have been subject to vandalism and theft.             Those considering homes in need of repair and renovation should consider a 203k mortgage, which enables homebuyers to finance both the acquisition and rehabilitation of the property with just one loan.             “FHA 203k purchase loans are the perfect financing vehicle for homeowners seeking the value proposition offered by REO homes,” said David Wind, president and board chairman of White Plains, N.Y.-based Guaranteed H...
Comments 2
Explore Durham, NC