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House Hunting Hints Online

House Hunting Hints Online

Almost every house hunt begins online, at least in this day and age. According to research by Realtor.com, 9/10 potential homebuyers begin their searches online. “With 90 percent of home buyers searching online during their home buying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information — for example, through paid search, relevant websites, video environments, and mobile applications,” Says Google’s head of Real Estate, Patrick Grandinetti.

Looking at pictures, neighborhood information, floor plans, and descriptions is exciting. You almost picture your things in the photos, you can almost imagine yourself living there. You can learn a lot about a property online, like past sales, recorded sale prices, the history of the sales, as well as other information like schools, neighborhood crime rates, and more.

Surely,  you’ve got your wants and needs listed out regarding your potential home. So take your “house hunting wish list” and head online to start your research.

Information You Can Discover Online

There are many things you can discover about a house when you’re researching properties online. For one thing, researching the property’s history is a fantastic idea. Why?

Researching your potential property’s history paints you a picture of the life the home had led. How the property has developed, changed hands, and has been updated are all things that are food for thought. Even if just for curiosity sake! Knowing the history of your home is beneficial because you learn why it was built as it was, but this knowledge translates to how you can fix or update your home.

Another important tidbit you can research online has to do with the other expenses of a property. You know, besides the purchase cost, closing cost, and whatever else you may need during the purchase of a home. These expenses include, but aren’t limited to, Home Owners Association fees, taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, as well as utilities like TV, internet, and phone costs.

On the subject of taxes, there’s a likelihood you’ll be able to find the history of tax prices for a certain home. Seeing the trends in the tax prices can give you an idea of the growth of a neighborhood.

While house hunting online is easy, efficient, and accessible, it’s a good idea to double check the facts you find. Because most financial information comes from input by a listing agent or owner, there’s room for error. You can double check “house facts” with sources like HOA offices, county tax pages, and other associated organizations or groups.

 

Places to Start Your Research Online

The internet is an amazing tool. It allows you to browse thousands of listings, getting a feel for pictures you like and floor plans you might want. You preview properties, gather information, and you can even take virtual tours. If you’re taking your home search online, you may want to begin at one of these places:

  • Real Estate Experts provides home searching tools, home value comparisons, and real-time information about local listings. Not to mention, we also provide property management tools, as well as community information and resources.
  • Realtor.com is run by the National Association of Realtors. This is a great website to check if a property or listing is up-to-date and current.
  • Trulia.com snags data from a variety of places, making it an appropriate first stop to gather neighborhood information. Their “heat map” helps show you commute times, banks, grocery stores, schools, and crime rates of a specific area.
  • Zillow.com provides Zestimates. This online service pulls information from public records, agents, homeowners, tax assessors, and MLS services. The biggest issue with home research on Zillow, right now, is that sometimes listings are still active on Zillow even if they’ve been sold. However, the online service does provide great overall information.
  • RealEstate.com was created to benefit first-time homeowners or buyers. The information they provide is easy to digest, with additional expert advice provided. This site is also an off-shoot of Zillow, perfect for millennial online research.

Reliable websites, like these, are recommended by realtors because they’re reliable. You can generally trust the information you’ve found within these websites. However, always bring your questions or concerns to your real estate professional, who can assure you with honesty about a property.

We Can Help!

Once you find homes you like and you’re armed with information about them, your local real estate professional is your best ally.

We’re proud to provide our clients with up-to-date listings, fresh off the press. We’re committed to the process of buying and selling homes, but we’re also committed to helping our clients find the home of their dreams. As expert negotiators and buyers agents, Real Estate Experts are ready to guide you on your search, and negotiate a deal on the house that you fall in love with.

Discover your home’s true value here.

Search homes for sale by neighborhood here.

Find your dream home here.

If you are interested in learning about properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.  We can’t wait to be your Realtor. 

What’s on Your Dream Home?

What’s on Your Dream Home?

Spring has sprung folks, and house hunting season is on for your dream home. In order to get a feel for what people are looking for in their next homes, Realtor.com consulted readers to find out what their must-haves are.”The insights from our most recent consumer survey provide a glimpse into what buyers are looking at today,” said Sarah Staley, housing expert for realtor.com. These insights can help guide potential sellers in deciding which rooms or features to invest in before listing their homes.”

According to Realtor.com’s research, the most-searched home features are: large backyards, garages, and updated kitchens. The survey also pointed out that more than half of home buyers are looking for a three-bedroom home, with at least two bathrooms. Sounds fair, right?

Here are some other features the survey noted.

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Ranch style home in Mebane, NC

  • Home style: 42% of home seekers indicated they liked ranch style homes best. Coming in second place is a contemporary home style.
  • Favorite room: the clear winner? The kitchen. 80% of home seekers and buyers chose the kitchen as their number one favorite room, followed by a master bedroom or living room.
  • Top goal in home searchprivacyThis “goal” topped other home search goals such as investment or finances and family needs.
  • House hunting motivation: millennials described their biggest motivator in buying a home is a major life event. These events include marriage and family planning.

Now, it can seem like this survey is very broad. It is! The survey doesn’t consider location, and it doesn’t specify what a “ranch” style home is. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial. Surveys such as this benefit builders who can create construction plans based on what the home buying demographic wants. It’s important to remember each market has its own wants and needs, which is where a real estate professional can come in.

Working with a local real estate professional can help you shop for the house of your dreams. One of the most exciting things about going shopping is getting exactly what you want. Whether it’s food shopping, clothing shopping, or house shopping, everyone should have a “wish-list” that helps them find and get exactly what they want. A house hunting wish list is no different!

Consider This

One of the best ways to begin cultivating the house-hunting wish list of your dreams is to consider your current living situation. What’s missing from it? What would you like to update, renovate, improve, or include? Do you love the master bedroom, but wish there was better storage elsewhere in the house? Are your neighbors waving at you from their kitchen to yours? You might have noticed there’s never enough parking room for you or your guests.

Create Your Wish List

house huntingTaking a moment to consider your current living situation and what you’d like to improve is an efficient and effective way to ensure your next home, town-home, apartment or otherwise suits your needs. Assess your needs with our help!

General Questions to Consider

  • What’s the time line of living in this new home? If you’re thinking many years down the line, it’s important to think of the life events that could happen in the meantime. Consider bedrooms, a bonus-room, yard size, and location of nearby schools.
  • Is this home a fixer-upper? Can you commit to the financial investment it may require?
  • How old is the home? Age is important because it takes into account energy efficiency.
  • Will the neighborhood suit your lifestyle? Researching your potential neighborhood can iron out issues of noise and activity levels. You don’t want to be stuck next door to a party house if that’s not your lifestyle!
  • Does the neighborhood have an HOA?
  • What does your commute look like from this location? Will you need to consider public transportation?

Interior Questions to Consider

  • What’s the condition and style of the kitchen? Will you need to update the appliances, take out the cabinets, or upgrade the counter-tops from granite to something new?
  • What does the home’s storage look like? It’s easy to disguise lack of storage space, so be sure to feel out the storage capacity of a home to suit your needs.
  • Does the home have enough bedrooms or alternative spaces to suit your family and your needs?
  • Look at the floor plans; is there any in particular you like? Open floor plans, lower-level master suites, and other amenities can be part of your wishlist.
  • If you like to have visitors or guests, is there enough space for them? Number of bathrooms should definitely be on your list of considerations.
  • How much work will the interior need? Can you afford to put in new carpets or floors and update featureS?

Exterior Questions to Consider

  • Does the garage have enough parking space? Do you need a garage? Will there be enough parking for guests and visitors? This is important to consider because some neighborhoods are sticky about where cars are parked.
  • Does the property have a pool or a hot tub? If no, is this a feature you’ll want to implement eventually, and is there enough space?
  • Do you garden? Yard preferences are important to consider for upkeep and landscaping. Yards that need heavy maintenance can be stressful.
  • Is the yard fenced in? Is there enough space for Fido to run and play? Considering yard and lot size in your house hunting efforts is important.

We’re Here to Help!

Having trouble creating your house hunting wish list? Our combined years of experience can help us help you envision the home of your dreams. At Real Estate Experts, we’re ready to help you assess your house hunting needs and provide listings fresh on the market to help you get a feel for the local real estate market. The MLS allows us to create individualized, custom searches for home buyers.

Take a look at our property search tools to help you get an idea of what homes are listed in your area.

We commit to providing our clients the best experience buying or selling homes. We want the process to be smooth for everyone involved. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in the Triangle area, give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected].

 

 

 

Real Estate Experts Team Update

Real Estate Experts Team Update

As local real estate experts, we’re passionate about our business and delight in offering exceptional service to each of our clients. Over the past 20 years, our team members have worked together to provide outstanding service to our buyers and sellers, while developing a unique partnership to better care for our clients. Our team talks and shares ideas with each other regarding our various clients’ needs each day. When you work with any of our realtors or team members, it’s just as good as working with the entire team.

Our team has recently expanded with two new members. Our clients will surely benefit from their expertise, and what they contribute to the team. We’re excited to welcome them to Real Estate Experts. Get to know the new members in this Real Estate Experts team update.

Meet Susan Crawford

real estate expertsReal estate is Susan’s passion. As a full time REALTOR® for the last 17 years, Susan knows this is her calling. She can’t imagine calling anywhere else home after moving to the Triangle in 1999. Susan loves building long-lasting relationships with her clients. Her goal is to go above and beyond the “call of duty”, embodying the protector role for her clients.

She is an active member of the Durham Regional Association of REALTORS® where she serves on the Grievance Committee . Susan also serves on the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®. Currently, Susan also serves as a Director for the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Foundation.

Susan has one daughter who is studying social work at Western Carolina University. She’s also a “human mom” to her beloved Shih Tzu “Scooby”, and her beautiful cat “Hershey”. As an active member of New Hope Church in Durham, Susan plays clarinet in the chamber orchestra. She’s an avid baker and custom cake decorator who loves both foreign and domestic travel, scuba diving, and ballroom dancing. Diverse, versatile, and passionate Susan can’t wait to help you find the home of your dreams.

Meet Gene Mack

real estate experts
Gene joins us at Real Estate Experts as a broker and property manager. Our property managers take the stress out of caring for homes for rent in the Triangle region. Paying bills, keeping records, focusing on budgets to keep them on track, and monthly or quarterly inspections are just some of the services our property managers handle. Our team’s expertise, resources, and education will give you peace of mind with your rental properties.

Gene comes from a family of builders and craftsman and is passionate about quality work. His own start in real estate came as a landlord. During his first career as the operations manager of Every Nation Campus, he was able to build a financial nest-egg through rental properties.

Having done it himself, Gene takes special pleasure in helping others benefit from the simple and steady wealth-building opportunities in real estate ownership. He and his wife, Devin, have three young children. They recently moved back to his hometown of Durham, from New York City. Everyone is very excited to have a driveway again!

Find Your Real Estate Expert

Wreal estate experts team updatehether you’re looking to sell your home, buy your next home, or you’re ready to offload the burden of property management, Real Estate Experts can help. Why buy or sell with Real Estate Experts? We are experts in pricing, marketing, and positioning our properties for sale. Our teamwork means there will always be someone there to help, and there’s never a disconnect in service. Our brokers, buyers agents, and property management team delight in providing the best service to our clients.

We’d love to hear from you. Contact us today at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected]. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.

 

 

Why Hire a Listing Agent When Selling a House?

Why Hire a Listing Agent When Selling a House?

Real Estate Listing Agents

If you are thinking of selling your house this year, you may wondering if it makes more sense to hire a Listing Agent to guide you through the process, or whether you should try to do sell it yourself. After all, you’re the expert on your own home, right?

It may be tempting to “go it alone” in an effort to save money, but in our experience, the stress, unforseen obstacles, and time on the market experienced by sellers is not worth it. They often wind up hiring a real estate agent in the end after all, after having wasted precious time, money, and resources. By hiring a qualified professional from the beginning, most sellers will actually end up saving money, as their agent will know all the tricks and tips to sell a home quickly at top dollar.

Here are the reasons why you should hire a professional listing agent:

  • Realtors have access to market data about recent sales and other homes on the market that can be used to price your home appropriately. Studies have proven that homes priced appropriately from the get-go sell more quickly and at a higher price than those that sit on the market.
  • Listing Agents are expert at marketing homes to buyers worldwide and to the local real estate community.
  • Realtors will look at your home objectively and make suggestions on how to make your home more attractive to a broad spectrum of buyers. This may include landscaping, staging, or repairs.
  • Realtors have the capability — especially those with Teams — to respond quickly to any and all inquiries, and be ready to show your home when you are unavailable.
  • Realtors can respond to inquiries from potential buyers and other agents in their network of contacts.
  • Realtors are able to obtain helpful feedback from potential buyers after having toured your home.
  • Realtors will screen potential buyers, saving you from wasting time showing your home to unrealistic buyers.
  • Realtors provide potential buyers to tour your home anonymously. Most visitors prefer to tour the home without the homeowners being present. The seller must be present at a for-sale-by-owner sale.
  • Realtors have years of professional marketing experience and expertise they put to use to sell your home quickly and at top dollar.
  • Realtors have a professional network of contacts that will enable them to market your home more widely than you would be able to as an individual.
  • Listing agents are experts at looking at the offer to purchase and contract from the seller’s perspective.  Top listing agents can help you negotiate a contract that meets your unique needs, including best price, settlement date, and closing. Listing agents will ensure your contract is in compliance with all local regulations.
  • Listing agents will guide you through the often bumpy road when negotiating home repairs and work with their trusted contractors to get the work done on your home.
  • Top listing agents will also be there to guide you through any other issues that arise in the process from appraisal issues to potential issues with your buyer’s loan.

We at Real Estate Experts are top listing agents.  We have been providing all of these benefits for our clients for the past 20 years. Our seasoned team members work together to provide outstanding service to our buyers and sellers, while developing a unique partnership to better care for our clients. If you are looking to buy or sell, let one of our top realtors assist you today!

Introducing the Homespotter App

Introducing the Homespotter App

Real Estate Experts is excited to announce that we are now incorporating a fabulous new technology to better serve our clients in real-time: the HomeSpotter app. This app allows you to search for homes nearby, save the properties you are interested in, and have constant contact with your agent via texting within the app…it’s basically like having your real estate professional in your pocket! This free app is available for both iOS and Android.

To get started, download the app. Next, you will need to set up an account. It’s super-easy, just follow the prompts.

IMG_1985Once you have made your HomeSpotter account, you will have the opportunity to connect with your real estate professional.

IMG_1977Now it’s time to search for homes. As you can see below, you can search by city, zip code, address, status, type of home, and price range. You can then set filters for the year the home was built, as well as number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

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Based on your input, you will see the homes that meet your parameters displayed on a map. Next, you can click on “List” on the bottom left of the screen to see all the homes displayed. Click “Chat” to immediately speak with your real estate agent regarding a property. Click “Spot” to see real-time status updates on a home (Active, Contingent, Closed, etc.)

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You can even search for a home based on commute times from your office and your child’s school or daycare facility.

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When you see a home that you interested in, you can save it by clicking the heart at the bottom of the listing. It will then be placed in your “Saved Properties” folder, making it easy to keep track of all the properties you wish to see, for both you and your agent.

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Finally, HomeSpotter offers a handy Mortgage Calculator, which will instantly display financial data, such as the monthly mortgage, down payment, current interest rate, and length of loan. You will also find information on home insurance cost and property taxes.

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We are Real Estate Experts think you will agree that this great new technology is the best way for busy folks to keep their finger on the pulse of their home buying experience. It’s an easy way to keep track of important data and be in constant contact with your agent, promising a fun, stress-free, and seamless journey to finding your dream home!

For more information about the HomeSpotter app, please contact us at  919-813-6449 or [email protected]. Visit us online at realestateexperts.netHave you already been using the HomeSpotter app? Leave a comment about your experience at the top of the page!

1001 Oak Tree Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

1001 Oak Tree Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

This updated gem is $143,000, on the bus line and 1 mile from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is an end unit in townhome in perfect, move-in condition backing to woods. Everything is new! New granite in the kitchen, new stainless steel dishwasher and a new hood that vents to the outside. The bathrooms also have new granite, new light fixtures & mirrors, upgraded plumbing and plumbing fixtures. New carpet and new interior paint and exterior paint around the windows. There is also a new roof and new heat pump. The refrigerator & washer/dryer convey! HOA dues include everything; all you pay for is electricity. The Oaks Condo neighborhood is across the street from East 54, and it is minutes to Meadowmont and downtown Chapel Hill.

 

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