Sweet Home Carolina Realty Blog

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.

June 21, 2018

4 Behind-The-Scenes Ways Your Real Estate Agent Supports Your Home Sale

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, there are obvious things you notice them doing to help your house sell. Things like: hosting open houses, bringing potential buyers on home tours, and marketing your property in multiple ways to make sure it gets enough exposure. But when it comes to adding value to your home sale, that's just the tip of the iceberg. A huge percentage of your agent's job takes place behind-the-scenes, and they're working around the clock to get your house sold — even when you're not looking. Here are 4 behind-the-scenes way your real estate agent is working to get your house sold:

1. Performing market research

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When it comes to pricing your home, your agent doesn't just pull a random number out of a hat. Your agent's recommendation is a result of extensive market research to ensure your home is priced in a way that's attractive to both buyers and you, the seller. Agents pull data on comparable properties in your area (from both the MLS and any public databases) for the past 12 to 18 months. They research how each home was priced and how the price correlated to the average time the property sat on the market before coming up with a CMA (comparable market analysis) to determine the market value of your property and suggest a listing price. All the insights gathered from your agent's behind-the-scenes research are crucial to pricing your property correctly — and wouldn't be possible without your agent's hard work.

2. Gathering relevant information for buyers

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A critical part of the home selling process is providing accurate and complete information to potential buyers. But most of the information buyers want isn't something you, as a seller, will have ready and available. Your agent gathers all the information a potential buyer might want to know so that if and when they request it, it's ready to go. Agents research things like the average utility usage of your property for the past 12 months, a breakdown of the home's floor plan, and a list of all available electricity and gas vendors in the area to make it available to buyers, which saves you a ton of time and hassle.

3. Phone calls and scheduling

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As part of their marketing efforts, your agent likely has your property listed on both the MLS and multiple public forums in order to get your home in front of as many potential buyers as popular. And while the increased exposure is great for driving interest in your home, someone needs to manage all the inquiries, follow up with interested buyers, and schedule viewings. And that person is your real estate agent. When your agent calls you to schedule a tour, that's just a small part of the process. Before they called you, they've already answered email inquiries, fielded multiple phone calls, talked to buyer's agents, and weeded out people who aren't serious about viewing — and potentially buying — your home. The call you get to schedule the tour is the last step in a lengthy scheduling process — most of which your agent manages behind-the-scenes.

4. Managing the close (and all the logistics that go with it)

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Now, once a qualified buyer makes an offer on your home — and you decide to accept it — your agent's job goes into high gear. Now, that's not to say that managing the close happens entirely behind-the-scenes; obviously, your agent is going to work with you to get the job done. There's plenty of the closing process (from negotiating with the buyers to reviewing contracts) that you'll get to witness up close and personal. But there's a lot more that goes into managing the close of your home then what you actually see from your agent. They have to make sure the signed contracts are sent to everyone who needs a copy, including the lender, the buyer's agent, the title company, and any involved attorneys. They have to file a status change with the MLS from "For Sale" to "Pending" and, finally, to "Sold." They need to schedule the final walkthrough with the buyers and their agent. Closing on your home? It's kind of a logistical nightmare. But luckily for you, when you work with a real estate agent, they take care of all the (many) details and logistics that need to be managed throughout the closing process, saving you immeasurable time, money, and frustration. When you work with a real estate agent, it's easy to see the value that they bring to the table during the process of selling your home. But what you see is just the beginning. The hours you see your agent putting in — the home tours, the open houses, the phone calls — are just a tiny fraction of the work they're actually doing. Your agent is working around the clock to get your home sold... and the majority of that work takes place behind-the-scenes.

Posted in Selling
May 30, 2018

Think Buying A Home Will Be More Affordable In 2019? Think Again

There’s no denying that it’s tough out there for buyers. The inventory shortage has created a market that’s more competitive than normal. As a potential buyer, you might be thinking “I should probably wait until next year to make a move.” But if you want to get the best deal on a home, you should probably rethink that idea. According to the most recent US Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, home prices are expected to rise 5.7% year-over-year—meaning a house you might be considering buying today will be 5.7% more expensive if you wait until this time next year to make a purchase. What does that look like? Let’s say the house you’re considering making an offer on today is priced at $275,000. With a 5.7% increase, at this time next year that same house is projected to be listed at $290,675—$15,675 more than you’d pay today. Not only are home prices projected to go up, but so are mortgage rates; Freddie Mac predicts that by the end of 2018, mortgage rates will increase an entire percentage point year-over-year—which will only make buying a home more expensive.

The Takeaway

If you’re waiting to buy a home in the hopes it will be affordable next year, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor—stop waiting and make a purchase.

May 3, 2018

Mistakes To Avoid On Your First Buy/Sell

If this is the first time you're considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you're able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let's review some mistakes you want to avoid making.

1. THE RIGHT PRICE

Pricing a property is a science of it's own. There are a lot of components and factors, so many small details, that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology uses on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it's virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you're purchasing a home, you're want to find a deal, can lead to stubbornness about what you're willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you're a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don't make the mistake of assuming you know what a home's value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.

2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE 

If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, hard-set on what you want without exception, you're more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you're looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you'll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising you. 

3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, don't fit realistically into check marking everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of "wants."

4. YOU'RE NOT ALONE, DON'T GO IT ALONE

Don't make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren't even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs un-experienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of "learning the hard way" and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you're happy with the outcome. 

April 17, 2018

4 Tips For Buying A Home In A Hot Market

When a market is hot, finding and buying a home can feel like an uphill battle. In a seller's market, homes go quickly. They can be on the market one day and gone the next. And on top of the challenge of finding a home, most homes (especially the desirable ones) have multiple offers, making it harder to get into the home of your dreams. But buying a home in a hot market isn't impossible! You just have to approach it strategically and stack the deck in your favor to find - and successfully buy - the right home for you and your family. Here are four tips for buying a home in a hot market that will put you a step ahead of the home-buying competition:

1. Make Your Offer As Attractive As Possible

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When faced with multiple offers, sellers are going to go with the offer that's the most attractive, both in offer amount and the actual terms of the offer. So if you want to stand out from other potential homebuyers and make an impact on the sellers, you need to make your offer as attractive as possible. The first thing you can do to make your offer attractive is to put more money down towards the house. Cash offers are always the most attractive, but that's unrealistic for most people. So if you can offer a larger down payment than the standard 20%, that will immediately make your offer stand out. If you don't have extra cash, there are other ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers. You can offer a short inspection period and agree to take the property as is, which will sweeten the deal for sellers (just make sure you know what you're getting into; obviously, any large repairs discovered during inspection can add a significant cost to owning the property). Or, if the owners want to stay in the house longer (for example, to finish out the school year), you can offer to rent the home back to them after purchase and delay your move in. Anything you can do to make your offer more attractive to sellers will up your chances of landing a home in a hot market.

2. Be Willing To Be Flexible

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In a hot market, the sellers are the ones holding the cards. And if you want to find a home, you need to be willing to be flexible. Chances are, when you find a property, there are going to be things about it that don't fit your image of your "perfect" home. But if you wait too long on a property or ask for too much from the sellers in terms of repairs or changes, you risk losing out to other people who are ready to make a move. Don't budge on your non-negotiables; you want to be happy with your home purchase and not feel like you moved too quickly out of fear you wouldn't find another property in such a competitive market. But don't let a great home slip through your fingers because you aren't willing to be flexible in your wants and needs in a home. Because in a hot market if you're not willing to be flexible, someone else will be.

3. Be Willing To Be Aggressive

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While you always want to get the best deal possible on your home purchase, a hot market isn't the time to go in with an ultra conservative offer. In sellers markets, houses routinely go for well above asking price. And while you don't necessarily have to make an offer that's above asking price, if you want to land a home in a hot market, you need to be aggressive. If you find a property you love, talk to your real estate agent to come up with a strategy to make your offer aggressive and competitive. Look at the recent sales in the neighborhood to get an idea of what homes are selling for and make sure your offer is in line with the recent comps. Make your offer competitive, but don't commit to more than you can comfortably pay.

4. Write A Personal Letter

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It seems like a minor detail, but when you're looking to buy in a hot market, is a good idea to write a personal note to the sellers. When faced with similar offers, many sellers end up following their emotions and going with the potential buyer they most want to sell to. And by writing a personal, sincere letter that introduces yourself and your family and lets the sellers know why you want to purchase their home, you can differentiate yourself from other potential buyers, appeal to their emotional side, and land the home. Buying in a hot market isn't easy, but it's possible. And with these tips, you'll put yourself a step ahead of the competition and get yourself a few steps closer to buying your home.