Sweet Home Carolina Realty Blog

Nov. 12, 2018

9 Ways Home Flipping Shows Mislead Viewers

We all know the premise of home-flipping shows: An investor buys a veritable dump and then, with the help of a team of ready-and-willing contractors and landscapers, transforms it into the best-looking home on the block. Next, that intrepid buyer turns around and sells it for a hefty profit. Sounds like a straightforward formula for financial success, right? Well, not quite.

What makes for entertaining television doesn't always translate into a win beyond the high definition flat screen. The following are nine ways home-flipping shows mislead viewers. So, if you're considering turning this into your next career or even a side gig, you may want to separate fact from fiction first.

1. Tight turnarounds aren't always realistic

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In order to realize as large a profit as possible, it's important to flip the property as quickly as you can, otherwise paying the mortgage, taxes, and insurance quickly chips away at your bottom line. While sales tend to happen quickly on TV, the reality is that even if you have a willing buyer, getting pre-approved and securing the financing doesn't happen overnight. For anxious sellers, that ticking clock is a constant reminder that every passing day means a little less money in their pockets.

2. Finding a dedicated team isn't easy

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As far too many homeowners know, not all contractors are created equal. For the most part, the artisans who make their way onto home-flipping shows are trustworthy, knowledgeable and willing to work nearly round-the-clock to get the job done. In reality, contractors may be working on multiple projects simultaneously and may disappear for days at a time. And as we all know, time is money.

3. DIY doesn't work for everyone

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Part of the appeal of these home-flipping programs is the ease with which the whole property comes together. But it's more than just the time-lapse photography that makes it seem like anyone with a tool belt can renovate like a pro. While you might be tempted to take a DIY approach to keep expenses low, remember, these people know what they're doing, whereas most homeowners are experts at other things. Sometimes tackling a task yourself will end up costing you more than if you'd hired the right person for the job.

4. When trouble strikes, it's not so easy to resolve

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Even with a careful home inspection, surprises (not the good kind!) pop up when you least expect them. Yet, if a sink hole opens and threatens to swallow a sunporch, home-flipping show teams are ready to fix that issue like it's no big deal. When it happens to non-TV-star homeowners, it's not always easy to find the right subcontractor -- especially when you're under time constraints. And, once you do, can you even afford to deal with whatever unpleasant shocker has come your way? If you have to go back to the bank for more money, that will impact your timeframe and ultimately your profit. (See number 1.) Home-flippers on TV seem to have bottomless bank accounts. Must be nice, right?

5. Materials don't arrive simultaneously

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When home-flippers begin a project, all the requisite materials are on-site and ready to go. If only this were the norm! Anyone who's ever fallen in love with a special order item knows that it's almost impossible to find everything you like in stock and ready for delivery. Some contractors are reluctant to start a renovation until all the supplies are in, which, again, can hurt your timeline and your profit.

6. The back-and-forth is all done behind-the-scenes

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Never mind the fact that homes showcased on these programs never seem to lack for buyers, in many instances there doesn't seem to be any haggling to speak of when it comes to the asking price. Leaving out the art of negotiation does viewers a disservice as it makes it appear that buyers can't wait to pay full price -- or above it.

7. The math is fuzzy

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In order to reap the biggest profit, you need to buy below market value, sell above it, and not put more money into the renovation than you'll get back. As if that equation weren't complicated enough, on television, you don't always hear about the costs of buying or selling, inspection and appraisals fees, and other expenses that go into both sides of the transactions. Leaving out some numbers conveniently inflates the profit.

8. Costs vary by area

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Renovating a bathroom in rural Tennessee is going to cost much less than it would in, say, Manhattan. Not only will the labor be less expensive, but the materials and delivery charges will also skew lower in non-metropolitan areas. Of course, none of that is addressed in the show and most often estimates on TV are far lower than those you'd gather in real life.

9. You can over-renovate

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Once you're in the home improvement groove, you may be tempted to splurge and really go all out, but you have to resist the temptation to overdo it and put in more money than you'll ever get back. In the quest to make your flip as fabulous as possible, you never want to lose sight of the the reason you started this project: to make money. Consider the return on investment for each improvement you make.

Nov. 5, 2018

Something You Should Know Before Looking At A New Construction Model Home

Picture yourself out for a drive one weekend. You see a sign that says:

New Construction Homes! Models Starting At $XXX,XXX Next Right!

Maybe you’re actively looking for a house, or maybe it’s just a spur of the moment urge, but you follow the signs to the model home. You park. You walk into the model home. The builder’s sales rep asks you to please sign in. You sign in. Ouch. You may have just made a costly mistake...

It’s Not Like I’m Buying One...

Most people don’t think twice about signing in when they visit a model home. They figure, what’s the harm? It isn’t like I’m signing something to actually buy one. I just want to take a look, and it’s not like they’re asking me to sign my life away. But sometimes you do end up buying one. You get the bug. You fall in love. You picture yourself in this lifestyle. Next thing you know, you’re making an offer on the spot. Or, maybe you leave, but you can’t stop thinking about it the whole ride home so you decide you’re going to buy one. Either way, if you decide to buy one, having signed in with the builder, you may have signed away your right to involve your own real estate agent represent and advise you.

Is A Real Estate Agent Even Necessary?!

Some people question whether it’s even necessary to have their own real estate agent involved in the purchase. They feel like they’re an unnecessary middleman. After all, the builder has a sales rep. They feel like they “found” the house, not a real estate agent. The builder or their representative can handle the paperwork. And, ideally, not having an agent will perhaps give them some leverage to negotiate. Others just don’t even think to bring their real estate agent with them or didn’t want to “bug” them to go see a house they could easily get in to see. They just stop in on a whim, and once the ball gets rolling, they feel like they can’t involve their agent, or they might even be “encouraged” by the builder not to. And they figure, what’s the big deal... the builder or their rep can handle everything. And some people feel like real estate agents just want to latch onto the deal to make a commission, while doing very little, since the builder and / or their rep can handle the paperwork and process.

It’s More Than Just “Finding” And Pushing Papers...

Sure, a buyer can “find” a new construction house on their own. And a builder or their sales rep can certainly handle the paperwork. But the value of having a real estate agent on your side isn’t just about “finding” you a house (new construction or not), or filling in a few blanks on a contract and pushing the papers through the process. It’s about their knowledge, advice, and representation. Okay, some agents out there may just want to get a few papers signed and wait for closing day to get a commission check. And, yes, you’re probably better off not involving an agent like that in the purchase of new construction. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find and have an agent who truly understands new construction (and real estate overall) on your side. A good agent can help you:

  • Avoid costly mistakes
  • Get everything you can and should get from the builder
  • Advise you as to whether buying a particular home is the best or right choice for you
  • Offer alternatives you may not have otherwise considered
  • Help you choose the best lot and model in a development for your own enjoyment and future resale value
  • Keep the builder and building process in check
  • Advocate for you when issues arise with the builder

 

Oct. 25, 2018

Americans Choose Real Estate As Best Investment For 5th Straight Year

The results are in: the best long-term investment you can make? Real Estate.

Each year, Gallup surveys Americans to find out what they believe to be the best investment options for building long-term wealth. And in their most recent survey, Americans overwhelmingly chose real estate, making this the fifth year in a row real estate tops the list.

Thirty-four percent of Americans surveyed chose real estate as the best long-term investment option for building wealth, which is nearly ten percentage points ahead of the next investment choice on the list, stocks (which came in at 26%).

The results of the Gallup survey, and the fact that real estate has been chosen as Americans' top investment choice for five years running, is a clear indicator that faith in the real estate market has bounced back since the Great Recession (when gold was a much more popular investment option).

 

The Takeaway

With consumer confidence clearly indicating stability in the market, there's never been a better time to purchase a home—and make a long-term investment in your future.

Oct. 2, 2018

Buying Activity Driven By Projected Mortgage Rates Increasing

The real estate industry has seen extremely low interest rates for quite some time, but all of that may be about to change, and it's driving a massive increase in buying activity.

According to a recent report from Freddie Mac, interest rates on home loans are expected to jump an entire percentage point in 2018 (from 3.9% in Q4 of 2017 to 4.9% by Q4 of 2018). That jump can mean a mortgage payment that's hundreds of dollars more per month—and tens of thousands more paid in interest over the course of the loan. And according to a recent article from the team at Realtor.com, the threat of rising interest rates is pushing a new stream of buyers into the market. According to the article, potential buyers who were "on the fence" about buying are now making purchases in order to lock in lower interest rates, creating even more competition and driving up prices.

 

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to do it. With historically low inventory and a new rush of buyers into the market, there has never been better conditions to get the most value from your home sale.

Sept. 2, 2018

What are Contingencies on a Contract?

Contingencies are commonplace in contracts of all kinds. A contingency allows for one party or another to legally back out of a contract in the event of some specific condition occurring. They are protection against the unknown.

In real estate, there can be contingencies inserted for either buyer or seller or both. These take many different forms and until removed in writing, either party may change their minds based on the result of the contingent event or issue.

Some examples of home buyer contingencies:

• Home inspections – condition of the home

• Specialty inspections – mold, geological, roof inspections

• Code Violations – an investigation into improvements made without permits

• Lender appraisal – ensures the offered price is not too high

• Sale of current home – allows the buyer to back out if they cannot sell their current home in specific time frame

• Final loan approval – loan is ready for signature and close

• HOA CC&Rs – review of documents to ensure rules and regulations do not infringe on enjoyment of property

• Insurability – home owner’s insurance available at a reasonable rate

 

Sept. 1, 2018

Charlotte 2018 Fall Festivals

Yep, it that time of year again - all tho technically still Summer - with school starting and the calendar reading September 1st -Charlotte is ready for fall y'all - so let get started!  

Yiasou Greek Festival - September 6 - 9

You must come with a hungry appetite - for all the yummy food and don't forget dessert - the Baklava Sundae is a must!  

Festival in the Park - September 21 - 23

This is a wonderful festival with local artists, music and food - so there is something for everyone!  

Carolina Renaissance Festival - September 29 - November 18

Giant Turkey Legs, Jousting Knights on Horseback, Falconry and tons of Merriment - this is a wonderful festival for all ages.  Weekends Only! 

 

 

 

July 27, 2018

Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment for 5 Years Running!

Some Highlights:

  • Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years!
  • The generations agree! Real estate is the best investment!
  • Generation X leads the way with 37% believing in real estate as the top investment.
July 25, 2018

3438 Long Cedar Lane, Alexis, NC 28006

Want country living with lots of space, low taxes, good schools and close proximity to the Airport, Charlotte, Lake Norman and Mountain Isle Lake? Look no further - we have the home for you!  Call 704-649-8163 for a private showing.

 

3438 Long Cedar Lane, Alexis, NC 28006

 

 

 

July 23, 2018

14 Best Remodeling & Home Improvement Ideas To Increase Your Home’s Value

If you’re looking to improve your home, of course you have to consider several things. First of all, will this improvement satisfy and fulfill a need? It’s important that you answer it truthfully because home improvements are generally expensive so at least make sure you are aware of your needs. In addition, will you be able to afford it? There are a lot of home improvement ideas, some affordable and some are expensive. The good thing is depending on your need, there’s usually an affordable and more expensive option.

Another Factor to Consider

The factors listed above are for the present. As a homeowner, you also have to consider the future. In this case, you have to consider how this improvement is going to help you in the future. It’s not just about making sure that this investment will last a very long time. Hiring a reliable contractor can help make sure of that. You also have to consider how it’s going to affect your home’s resale value. This is true even if you’re not really planning on selling your home. Who knows what the future holds? If you’re going to invest in a home improvement project, at least make sure that it will help increase your home’s resale value. This way, you’ll be able to recoup a good part of your investment when you do decide to sell your home later on.

The Best Home Improvement Ideas

Here are the best home improvement ideas that not only satisfy and fulfill a specific need but also help increase your home’s resale value:

  • Garage door replacement
    This is actually something that you can do right now because it’s very affordable. On average, it will just cost you $1,595 to have a better looking (and functioning) garage door. It will increase your home’s resale value by $1,410 so that’s an investment well spent.

  • Vinyl siding replacement
    Curb appeal matters when it comes to determining a home’s resale value and vinyl is king when it comes to siding. Spend $12,013 on vinyl siding replacement and based on the national average, you can expect to recoup 80.7% of your investment when you sell your home later on.

  • Wooden deck addition
    A wooden deck is not only beautiful; it’s highly functional as well. This is why it’s not a surprise that it improves the home’s resale value by $8,085. Not bad for a $10,048 investment.

  • Minor kitchen remodel
    The kitchen usually makes or breaks a deal so make sure that you’ll have a kitchen that prospective buyers would love. Homeowners spend $19,226 on average for a minor kitchen remodel but they’re able to recoup 79.3% of their investment because buyers are generally willing to pay $15,255 more because of the remodeled kitchen. Here’s a REALLY minor kitchen remodel that yielded major results!

Other Ideas

Check out this infographic by Contractor Quotes to learn other home improvement ideas that can improve your home and increase its resale value.

July 16, 2018

Home Prices Up 7.1% From Last Year

Thanks to the historic inventory shortage, home prices across the US are on the rise.

According to Core Logic’s May 2018 Home Price Insight Report, home prices across the US are up 7.1% from last year. That means a home listed for $250,000 in May 2017 would sell for $267,750 today—an increase of $17,750. And those increases are showing no signs of slowing down.

According to the report, home prices are projected to grow another 5.1% by May 2019. Which means that same house that was valued at $250,000 just a year ago would then sell for $281,405.25—an increase of another $13,655.25.

 

The Takeaway

The lack of inventory is creating sellers’ markets across the US and driving up home prices, making now an ideal time to sell your home. If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market, you’re going to want to make a move soon and take advantage of these price increases before they start to decline.