Sweet Home Carolina Realty Blog

Nov. 16, 2017

8 Great Real Estate Quotes

Nov. 15, 2017

Paint Finishes

 

Ready to paint your home? Be sure to use the right finishes in each room and feature to make

the best impact in your home. Using the wrong finishes can backfire for home owners if the

wrong ones are used in the wrong spaces. Below, you'll find the most common finishes and

recommendations on where they are best applied to.

 

                                                  - PAINT FINISHES - 

 

Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor

surface imperfections.  It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.

 

Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and

also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as

bedrooms, and interior walls.

 

Eggshell Enamel has a soft, velvety appearance and is a good choice for moderate traffic

areas such as living rooms.

 

Satin Enamel if you desire a pearl-like appearance, and are painting moderate to high traffic

areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.

 

Semi-Gloss Enamel if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great from cabinets and trim,

high-traffic areas and high-moisture areas.

 

Hi-Gloss Enamel creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for

high-use surfaces

 

 

Posted in Home Design
Nov. 12, 2017

3 Common Fears Of First Time Home-Buyers… And How To Overcome Them

Buying your first home can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. But it can also be one of the scariest. Buying real estate is a complicated process. And if you've never purchased a home before, the fear of all those unknown variables can make the experience stressful, frustrating, and downright terrifying. If you're thinking about purchasing a home but are dealing with the fear that comes along with it, don't worry! You're not alone. Most first time home-buyers deal with a certain level of fear as they get ready to buy their first home. But that fear doesn't have to hold you back. Here are three of the most common fears of first time home-buyers (and how you can overcome them).

"I can't afford to buy a home."

via GIPHY

The number one fear most first time home-buyers struggle with is the fear they can't afford to buy a home. But while there are certainly people who aren't in the financial position to purchase a home, becoming a homeowner isn't as expensive as you might think — and sometimes all it takes to be able to buy a home is a little budgeting. If you're worried about being able to afford a home, it's time to take a good, hard look at your finances. Make a list of all of your monthly expenses and all of your debt. How much are you spending per month on living expenses? How does that compare to how much you'd be spending per month on living expenses if you were to purchase a home? How much are you saving each month? Are there any opportunities to cut back on spending and pad your savings a little more each month? How much debt do you carry and what's your plan to pay it down? Getting a firm understanding of your financial situation will a) give you a better idea of how much you can afford to comfortably spend on a house, and b) help you come up with a plan to get there.

"My credit isn't perfect. How am I ever going to get a loan?"

via GIPHY

If you have less-than-perfect credit, a major fear you might be dealing with is how you're going to get a mortgage. Many first time home-buyers fear that their credit report might hold them back from securing a loan. But while getting a mortgage with not-so-hot credit can be a challenge, it's certainly not impossible. First things first: if you're thinking about purchasing a home, you need to get a copy of your credit report. According to an FTC Report , 1 in 5 Americans have a mistake on their credit report — and those mistakes can end up costing you in the long run. The lower your credit score, the higher your interest rates will be, so it's important to make sure there's nothing inaccurate on your report that's dragging down your score. Once you've reviewed your credit report, you'll want to do everything you can to bring up your score before you apply for a loan, like pay down any high credit card balances, which will bring down your credit utilization and bump your score. You'll also want to make sure to pay all of your bills (including your rent and utility bills) on time, which will help show lenders that you're responsible with your debts. If you do all of these things and still get stuck with a high-interest mortgage, it's not the end of the world! You can always continue to work on increasing your credit score and refinance in the future.

"I have no idea what I'm doing. How am I supposed to successfully buy a home?"

via GIPHY

As mentioned, buying a home is a complicated process. From getting to know the market to finding the right kinds of properties to negotiating with sellers, there's a lot to handle. And if you've never purchased a home, it can feel overwhelming. The sense of "I have no idea what I'm doing!" can be pretty terrifying. But luckily, you don't have to know what you're doing when it comes to buying a home… as long as you work with someone who does. Working with a real estate agent who understands your market is an invaluable resource, especially to first time home-buyers. Your real estate agent can not only walk you through the entire process, but they also handle the hard stuff — like finding that perfect property and negotiating with tough sellers — so you don't have to. You might be afraid that the fact you've never purchased a house before will hinder the process, but when you work with the right real estate agent, there's nothing to be afraid of. Purchasing your first home can be a scary process. But now that you know the most common fears — and how to overcome them — it's time to transform that fear into excitement, get out there, and find the home of your dreams!

Nov. 5, 2017

A bit about Charlotte

Charlotte is trying to win the bid for the next Amazon headquarters.  Below is a video from  Charlotte USA, which was created by FLICK studios.  We are sharing - simply because it gives any of you looking to move to the Charlotte area an idea of just how great this city is - and we hope you will make Charlotte your next new home.  

 

Oct. 23, 2017

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you've lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that's far from the truth! Although it's not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don't want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That's a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers - Let's be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the "trend" of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition - Selling in the fall isn't something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That's why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn't make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor's house. It also doesn't devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention.

With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale. 

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home - Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don't feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

Posted in Selling
Oct. 6, 2017

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know

 

Oct. 3, 2017

Should I Buy a Home Now? Or Wait Until Next Year?

Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.4% by next year.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.0% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

 

Sept. 25, 2017

Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Buy A Home

A lot of people think the best time to buy a house is during the Spring market.

And, it is... ...

in the sense that more houses are listed for sale in the Spring. But, there's also a heck of a lot more buyers trying to buy those listings.

The thing is, some of the houses listed back in the Spring don't end up selling. (Usually just because they were overpriced.)

Now, it isn't like new listings don't happen in the Fall. There's always new listings coming on the market. But it's not like, just because it's Fall and not Spring, prices are necessarily going to fall. In other words, new listings aren't likely to list for a lot lower than you would have seen in the Spring.

However, the homeowners who did list back in the Spring, are much more likely to be anxious (perhaps even desperate) to sell their home. They've created their own problem...they missed the boat by pricing too high. Which is great news for you, if you're looking to buy a home:

  • Less competition. (Many buyers stop looking at this time of year...for no good reason.)
  • Motivated sellers. (They're sick of being on the market, and wondering why nobody bought their house.)

But it isn't always easy to find those listings. They don't wave a white flag, or lower their price to some ridiculous amount everyone would notice. If only it were that easy...

Just because someone listed their home back in the Spring doesn't mean they'll be all that negotiable.

There are certain things a great real estate agent will know to look for.

And I love rolling up my sleeves and finding the ones we can most likely negotiate the best deals on.

So, got anything you want me to roll up my sleeves and look for? Real estate deals won't just fall in your lap, but I can certainly help you find one this Fall.

Bonus

Want another reason to buy a home in the Fall?

You can take advantage of year-end sales to outfit your home!

Hardly anybody buys a home who doesn't want (or need) to make improvements, however small. So why not coordinate your purchase with sales on items you'll need? According to Consumer Reports, September is an ideal time for buying carpet and paint. In October lawn mowers go on sale, and the same goes for appliances and cookware in November.

Sept. 22, 2017

Lack of Existing Home Inventory Slows Sales Heading into Fall

Sept. 20, 2017

4 Hidden Costs Of Not Owning A Home

There's no arguing there's costs associated with owning a home. But the adverse is also true; there are also definite costs associated with NOT owning a home. The benefits of buying vs. renting has always been a hotly debated topic, with most people believing that — at least in the short term — renting is more cost effective. But most people don't consider the hidden costs of not owning a home and sinking all of your money into your rental. Here are four sneaky ways that not owning a home will cost you:

1. Your pricing is never guaranteed

When you own a home, there are no surprises when it comes to your monthly housing costs. Once you lock in your mortgage, your payment will remain constant throughout the length of your loan (unless you decide to refinance in the future). The stability of having a mortgage gives you the peace of mind of knowing what to expect each month — and not having to worry about unpleasant surprises that completely throw off your budget. When you don't own a home, it's different. You're at the mercy of your landlord; they can (and often will) change the price of your rent often to keep up with market prices. So what does that mean for you? Well, it means the price you agreed to rent the house or apartment for is not necessarily the price if will rent for in the near future, which leaves you with two options: agree to a higher price or find a new place to live (which is an expensive endeavor itself).

2. Investing in home improvement is a lost cause

Everyone wants to feel comfortable in the place they call home — whether they own or rent. And that means different things to different people; maybe it's cosmetic changes (like painting walls or hanging art) or more practical changes (like installing insulated windows to moderate the temperature). When you own a home, making the improvements necessary to make your home feel comfortable makes sense. Whatever you do to improve your home will only increase the value, making it a sound investment choice. But when you don't own your home, making improvements to your home is like throwing money away. If you paint your walls or hang too much art on the walls, you'll likely have the cost of getting the property repainted deducted from your security deposit when you move out. You can spend the money to install the insulated windows, but they're not coming with you (and the only person that investment makes sense for is your landlord). Some landlords might not even allow you to make any improvements or changes at all. Everyone wants to improve the place they live. But if you don't own a home, making those improvements just isn't a sound investment.

3. You can't always get what you want

When you own a home, you get to choose the services and amenities you enjoy. You can choose between satellite and cable television. You can choose which service providers you want to work with. You can install solar panels if you want to save money on energy costs. When you don't own a home? Not so much. When you rent a home, you're locking into the services and amenities that are tied to that property. Your landlord gives you a list of approved vendors you have no choice but to work with - and often times, those vendors aren't the most cost-efficient. If you live in an apartment community, you'll also have to pay for the amenities of that apartment community, like a pool, gym, or resident's lounge - even if you don't want them or don't use them. And all of those costs can quickly add up. When you own a home, you make the choices on what you want to pay for, which can save you a lot of cash.

4. You're not building any wealth

Perhaps the biggest cost of not owning a home is the fact that you're not building any wealth. When you rent a home, you're giving your money to someone else; you're paying for the right to live there for a predetermined period of time. When that predetermined period of time is over, you walk away with nothing; all of that money is gone. When you own your home, every time you make a mortgage payment, you're paying down your loan and building equity in your home. This is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to build wealth — and is a significantly better investment than throwing your money away on rent every month. You already know that buying a home is a better investment. But when you factor in all the hidden costs of not owning a home, it might be the less expensive one as well.