Jodi Bakst, Author at

Trusting Your Property Manager


There are seven things you should look for in your property manager to know whether you can trust them.


How do you know that you can trust your property manager? There are seven things you should look for in terms of the service they provide. These factors will reassure you that the significant investment you’re making is in good hands.


Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch it in its entirety or use these timestamps to browse specific points at your leisure: 


0:22—#1: Communication and transparency

1:14—#2: Clear, consistent, and timely reporting of all monies

2:46—#3: Tailoring the property management agreement to fit the property owner’s needs

3:48—#4: Proper maintenance of the home

4:39—#5: Getting more than one estimate on major repairs

5:09—#6: Providing current and past references

5:46—#7: Having a dedicated emergency repairs line for tenants

6:23—Wrapping things up


If you have questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help.

Where Is Our Triangle Area Market Headed in 2020?

What’s the forecast for our 2020 Triangle area market? To answer that question, I’ll share a brief recap of our 2019 market and look at how home prices have fared the past three years. 

In November 2019, home showings rose 8% compared to November 2018, pending sales rose 14%, and inventory dropped 3%. Overall, closed sales rose 5% as a whole in 2019, and the average days on market stood at 47 days. 

In Chapel Hill, the average price appreciation was 3.5% in 2017, 3.1% in 2018, and 4% in 2019. This type of appreciation is fairly normal in our market. 

Durham, meanwhile, has been on fire. In this area, prices appreciated by 7.2% in 2017, 9% in 2018, and 7.6% in 2019. This is why the Durham city government raised property taxes again at the beginning of last year—just two years after they previously raised them. Typically, home values are recalibrated for property tax purposes every four to eight years. 

With the economy doing well, conditions are set for us to have a strong, dynamic year.

In the Cary/Apex/Morrisville area, price appreciated by 6.4% in 2017, 4.1% in 2018, and 4.3% in 2019. Finally, in Chatham County, prices appreciated by 4.5% in 2017, 4% in 2018, and 5.9% in 2019. All in all, we’ve been doing pretty well in terms of price appreciation. 

As we move further into 2020, our market is poised to do well. Interest rates are low, and inventory is extremely low. It’s usually low this time of year, but in this case, it’s lower than low. In most price ranges, we only have a month of inventory. With the economy doing well, conditions are set for us to have a strong, dynamic year. 

As always, if you have questions about this or any other real estate topic or are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help. 

Real Estate Experts Partners With American Forests

Real Estate Experts Partners With American Forests


Today I’m going to talk about Real Estate Experts partnering with American Forests to plant trees.

Real Estate Experts is committed to the environment and helping reduce our carbon footprint, and to do this, we have decided that we are going to partner with American Forests. We’re donating $50 from every real estate transaction to American Forests; for each donation, 50 trees will be planted on behalf of our client.

American Forests is a very interesting organization; they’ve been around since 1875—they’re the oldest organization of its type committed to maintaining and preserving trees, forests, and reforestation. Since 1990 alone, American Forests has planted over 60 million trees in forests and reforestation projects across all 50 states.

So why donate money to plant trees?  Well, one big reason is that trees absorb carbon emissions, and this helps with all of the carbon emissions that are out there in the environment. The more trees we plant, the better we can do at counteracting emissions.

The amount of carbon emissions in the environment is also killing trees, unfortunately, and damaging forests. You can see this with the forest fires in California and now these huge fires in Australia; so planting more trees is actually more important than ever.

It’s my personal goal that as a company we plant 5,000 trees this year.


There are more benefits to planting trees; more trees help in biodiversity because they help protect waterways and wildlife and actually even create jobs in the United States. There are nearly 3 million jobs in this country that are related to forests, so I’m proud that the Real Estate Experts decided to partner with American Forests.

It’s my personal goal that as a company we plant 5,000 trees this year, so if you’d like to help us reach our goal, please don’t hesitate to reach out and talk with us about the home buying or selling process. We’ll help you get the job done.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this video, and if so, please hit the like button and subscribe to our YouTube channel; there are more videos coming. Thank you!

Tips for Selling a House With a Dated Roof

Tips for Selling a House With a Dated Roof

If your roof is old and near the end of its useful life, the best practice is to simply replace it. However, if you don’t have the funds to replace it for whatever reason, what do you do? I can recommend a few strategies for this situation:

  • The best-case scenario is that you’re in a competitive market with multiple interested buyers and you could feasibly sell your house without having to deal with the roof at all.
  • You could split the cost of the roof with the buyer. Being able to negotiate that deal would be a wonderful outcome.
  • Instead of replacing the roof, you could provide a credit to the buyer at closing. However, if you let a buyer price out your roof, the price will naturally be higher than what you could have gotten otherwise. From a negotiating standpoint, it’s a good idea to get an estimate for the roof and have that information in your back pocket when discussing this with your buyer.
  • If you live in an area where your home has sustained significant weather-related damage, you could reach out to your homeowners insurance company to see if they’ll cover the costs to replace the roof. You never know—if you don’t ask, you don’t receive.

A good thing to keep in mind is that the quality of your agent will ultimately determine the success of your transaction. When you’re interviewing agents to determine who will assist with your home sale, be sure to ask what they recommend you do if your roof is older.

Here at Real Estate Experts, we work with our sellers to develop strategies to help them reach their goals. If you’d like us to help you with your next home sale, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to give you our professional advice.

3 Things You Can Do with Your Home  When Moving into Assisted Living

3 Things You Can Do with Your Home When Moving into Assisted Living


Photo via Pexels

Planning what to do with your assets is a critical part of moving into an assisted living facility. This will involve deciding whether to sell your primary residence. There are several good reasons to keep your house, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons carefully. Fortunately, selling isn’t your only option. Here are a few different things you can do with your home when it’s time to move out.

Rent It Out

Renting out your home after moving into an assisted living community is a great way to make some extra money. You get to keep the home in the family while receiving monthly income to fund your care.

Renting to tenants on a one-year lease isn’t the only way to do this. According to Mashvisor, there are four other ways to rent out a property—as corporate housing, senior co-housing, low-income housing, or a vacation home. These options allow you to generate higher income from your property or guarantee a steady cash flow.

Whichever way you decide to rent your home, consider hiring a property manager. Renting out a property requires a lot of hands-on work, from finding tenants to coordinating maintenance. A good property management company will keep you and your loved ones in the loop about your property and offer 24/7 support for both you and your renters/guests. Some management companies even offer online booking and take care of hiring housekeeping services. That way, you can enjoy the extra cash from renting out your home without being too involved.

Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to renting out your home. First of all, you may not be able to charge high enough rent to offset the cost of your assisted living care. It’s also possible that you may end up with bad tenants who cause damage to your property or do not pay rent on time, leaving you scrambling for the funds to cover your expenses. It’s important to consider these risks before deciding to rent out your home. If you decide to go this route, take some advice from and protect your property with insurance and a lease reviewed by a lawyer.

Sell It

Another option is to sell your house. This is a good idea if keeping your home would be too expensive or labor-intensive. Selling your home will give you access to a large amount of money to fund your care, but it may create a substantial tax burden. There are also various fees involved in selling a home, such as real estate agent commission and closing costs.

If you’re leaning toward selling, make sure you consider the condition of the home, the local real estate market, and the work involved in selling. Remember, you may have to make a few upgrades if your home is on the older side. Secure a trusted real estate agent so you can get the best value for your home. The Balance cautions against choosing a listing agent based on their commission or their list price for your home. Instead, look for someone with the experience and education to back up their claims.

Have a Family Member Care for It

You may not have to sell or rent out your home if you have a family member who wants to move in. This way, you can be comforted knowing that your home is in the care of someone you trust. Having someone in the home will prevent unexpected issues like roof leaks or basement mold from going undetected and becoming large, expensive problems to fix.

This option may only work for people who have other ways to fund their assisted living care. If you need the money from your home, you may consider charging your family rent for the use of your home. Just make sure you understand the tax rules for renting out your home to family members.

Moving into an assisted living facility is a huge decision in and of itself. Once you’ve worked out the finer details of this move, deciding what to do with your home can be completely overwhelming. If possible, take some time to consider your options carefully and ask your trusted family members for their thoughts. Careful planning will help you come up with the best possible solution for your circumstances.

At Real Estate Experts we sell homes and manage rental propertiesContact Real Estate Experts and we can advise you of the pros and cons and provide you with a comparative market analysis for selling your home and a rental analysis as well.

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