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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.

house hunting

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].

 

 

 

How To Modify Your Home’s Zestimate

How To Modify Your Home’s Zestimate

Didupdate zestimate you know you can modify the Zillow Zestimate for your home?

Zillow’s Zestimates are a property estimation tool. They’re built into almost every listing on Zillow, benefiting both buyers and sellers. Though realtors and real estate professionals question the accuracy of the Zestimate, the estimation is a starting point for determining a home’s worth according to Zillow’s chief economist Stan Humphries.  See our related post on the accruacy of Zillow Zestimates.

Zestimates tell you something. They’re the basis for determining a home’s worth, but they’re not as accurate as looking at true comparable sales because they don’t make adjustments for differences between properties. Zestimates don’t tell you about local amenities, construction prices, or actual costs of items in new construction.

Accuracy of the Zestimate depends on location and availability of data in an area. Unfortunately, there are other issues with the Zestimate besides accuracy. Updating a home’s Zestimate takes weeks to appear on a listing’s page. Starting in February 2015, Zillow recognized this. Now, updated Zillow Zestimates are available immediately!

Why Modify Your Zillow Zestimate

Since Zillow relies on both public records and user submitted data, your Zestimate may change with updates.

Zillow’s data comes from public records, meaning your information could be outdated or missing. We’ve talked about how certain areas provide more information than others; the amount of data Zillow has for a home affects the Zestimate accuracy. What that means is that it’s important to review your home facts, such as number of bedrooms or bathrooms.

Once you’ve reviewed your home facts, you can update your Zillow information which will change your Zestimate.
Have you updated or renovated your house recently? Have you finished your attic, screened in your porch, built a deck, or added a bedroom? If you’ve done any updates like these, you’ve probably increased your home’s worth. Nearly impossible for Zillow to keep up with updates like these, it’s important that you, the user, update your own home’s information.  Since so many people check Zillow before they visit houses in person, it’s important to provide every detail that can increase your home’s worth.

How Do You Fix Your Home’s Zestimateupdate zestimate

All of the tools you’ll need to update your home’s Zestimate are on Zillow.com. Here is what you need to do:

  • Head to Zillow.com
  • In the center of the page, you’ll see several tabs. Zestimate is all the way on the right.
  • Type in your home address.
  • Your home will pop up, allowing you to click a button which says, “Correct facts”.
  • Verify you are the owner of the home by “claiming your house“. Simply select your name from the list of owners.
  • As the owner, you can now update the information on your house. Add number of bedrooms, bathrooms, home size, lot size, architectural style, roof type, heat source, or building amenities.
  • At the bottom of the page, it’ll allow you to save your information. This will update the zestimate on your home.

Since Zestimates are updated immediately , you’ll see a change on your home’s estimated value on Zillow.com.

We Can Help

If you’re looking for the true market value of your home, there are a number of ways we, at Real Estate Experts, can help. After all, a Zestimate is only an estimate! We offer a home valuation tool that can estimate your home’s value. Check it out, and let us know how we did.

At Real Estate Experts, we’re committed 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].

 

Amazing Personal Safety Technology By Wearsafe – Don’t Miss This

Amazing Personal Safety Technology By Wearsafe – Don’t Miss This

Personal safety has always been important and today more than ever, we need to make sure our safety and the safety of our loved once is protected.  As we move forward and technology continues to advance we are going to see more and more devices that help us live our lives, stay safe, and even help us order our groceries.

One amazing new technology in the safety realm is Wearsafe. This personal safety technology makes it simple to communicate in a bad or scary situation. If you’re hurt or in danger, you can’t always count on being able to find, unlock and dial your phone to call for help. At the first sign of trouble, pressing the Wearsafe Tag keeps you a step ahead of the situation.

Personal Safety Technology by Wearsafe – How It Works

Wearsafe uses the power of your phone to alert friends and family, sends them audio from the scene and starts a live chat room where they can coordinate a response or call 911. All while keeping your phone—your lifeline—out of sight.  All you have to do is press the button on your Wearsafe tag and it will activate the record button on your phone WITHOUT turning on the light.  It will also notify the people you have put in your network that you are in an unsafe situation and through the APP it will show them your location.

Wearsafe is packed with amazing safety features that you will appreciate, and be thankful for when and if the time comes. Features include “On-scene Audio” so that your trusted circle can hear what’s happening as it happens—no need to guess what’s wrong. It also offers “Wearsafe Rewind” which captures what led up to the situation with audio from 60 seconds before you pressed the Tag. One more amazing feature is the “Real-time Feedback” which lets the wearer know help is coming by silently vibrating each time someone gets your alert. This is a truly awesome product and should be something to check out in 2017.

The Virtual Situation Room

This part of the technology is truly smart and it goes to show that this team put a lot of hard work and dedication into how they were going to solve the issue of safety, and how best to get help to a person when in need. By continually collaborating with top security experts, users, students, designers, and engineers, they have created a personal safety solution that fits the way we live today. Let’s get back to the “Virtual Situation Room” and explain to you that once your friends and family receive your alert, the Wearsafe app gives them a private, live chat room where they can talk to one another, see who else has viewed the alert, figure out where everyone is located in relation to you and coordinate a response in real-time. If that doesn’t make your hair stand up, then I don’t know what will. Being able to coordinate a response to help a loved one in need could be the difference between speaking to them again and not. In dangerous situations every second counts, and this technology could be a life saver.

Why Wearsafe over other products?

Speed of use, sharing of critical information like live audio, and the ability to coordinate in order to send the best response,personal safety with wearsafe sets Wearsafe apart from any other personal safety system. Wearsafe says that it offers the smartest, most effective personal safety technology in the world, and it will allow you — and the people you care about — to live more confidently every day. The Wearsafe Tag has a range of up to 200 feet — so you don’t have to pull out your phone to call for help. During an emergency, the last thing you want to do is fumble through your phone’s password, dial an emergency number, and try to tell an emergency service where you are and what kind of help you need. In addition to plenty of helpful focus groups, they went through three highly selective University accelerator programs, conducted extensive beta tests with actual users, and made sure Wearsafe Tag got into the hands of over a thousand users before going to market.

What is very cool about this company, you can try the product for FREE!

Our thoughts on Wearsafe

In a time when life is so fast paced, and the planet is more populated than ever —safety becomes more important than ever. Technology is all around us, some doing us good, some doing us bad. That’s life though, gotta take the good with the bad. We have found the good in Wearsafe Tag and believe it to be a great new technology in the safety sector. As a real estate agent this technology sounds like a game changer.  But, this technology is important for everyone:  our daughters, our sons, our friends and our colleagues.  I recently heard about this at the Inman Conference I was attending and knew I had to tell the my team and you.

If you are looking to buy, sell or rent your home in the Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh area, visit us at Real Estate Experts.

 

Cary, North Carolina Named #1 Boomtown in the US

Cary, North Carolina Named #1 Boomtown in the US

Cary North CarolinaCary North Carolina is back in the news, in a big way! Just last month, Money magazine named Cary, North Carolina as the best place to live in North Carolina, and the 37th  best place to live in the US. Now, Cary has been named the Number 1 boomtown in the entire country on SmartAsset’s list of the “ Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016.” Cary North Carolina scored a 100 percent based on such factors as: net migration rate, housing growth, unemployment, 2015-16 change in unemployment, and GDP growth. Raleigh was also included in the list and ranked 10th, scoring an 87.05.

SmartAsset is a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York, NY that uses financial modeling to power advice on major financial decisions. According to SmartAsset, while it is smaller than most of its neighbors, Cary is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Cary’s housing growth rate of 9.1% is among the highest rates in SmartAsset’s analysis. For many years, the presence of strong research institutions has drawn tech companies and entrepreneurs to the region.

Key Factors

For this study, SmartAsset collected data on 572 of the largest cities in the country. They utilized these five factors to identify the top 10 boomtowns of 2016:

  • Net migration rate: The number of people who have immigrated to a city minus the number of people who have emigrated from that city between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015. The net migration rate includes all population growth that isn’t related to births or deaths.
  • Housing growth rate. The percent change in the number of housing units between 2014 and 2015.
  • Unemployment rate. The number of unemployed people who were actively looking for work in August 2016, as a percentage of the total labor force.
  • Annual change in the unemployment rate. This number was based on preliminary labor force data from August 2015 to August 2016.
  • GDP growth rate. The annual growth in total output for the period ranging from 2010 to 2015.

Data Sources

  • GDP growth rates were obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Unemployment rates were obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Net migration rates and housing growth rates were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Cary North Carolina On Top of SmartAsset’s Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016

Below is the entire list:

  1. Cary
  2. Fort Collins, Colorado
  3. Fort Myers, Florida
  4. Longmont, Colorado
  5. Bend, Oregon
  6. Orem, Utah
  7. Kissimmee, Florida
  8. Midland, Texas
  9. Bismarck, North Dakota
  10. Raleigh
So if you have been thinking of relocating to the Triangle area, you will definitely want to consider putting down roots in this amazing town! Visit Real Estate Expert’s web site to learn more about Cary Real Estate  and about the best neighborhoods in Cary.
Give us a call at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected] to find out more about living in Cary, and visit realestateexperts.net to view current homes for sale in the area.
Inexpensive Home Staging Tips

Inexpensive Home Staging Tips

Home StagingThere’s no doubt that staging your home prior to placing it on the market is crucial if you want to earn top dollar. But must you spend “top dollar” during the home staging process? Not necessarily. There are many ways you can spruce up your dwelling without breaking the bank. Here are some excellent home staging tips.

Outdoor Home Staging Tips

  • Remove all cobwebs, dust, and dirt from front porch and surrounding areas.
  • Replace the door handle, knocker, and/or doorbell if they are looking old and tarnished.
  • Clean all outdoor lights and replace bulbs, if needed.
  • Place a couple of pretty flowering plants by your front porch or door.
  • Trim all the bushes and remove weeds.
  • Clean all the interior and exterior windows (make it a family affair)!

Entryway Home Staging Tips

  • Keep the foyer clear of items like coat racks and clutter.
  • Buy a pretty new rug for the foyer (Target has some great inexpensive choices).
  • Repaint walls near entryway.
Entryway home staging tips

Image courtesy of atticmag.com.

Living Area Home Staging Tips

  • Remove all family photos.
  • Ditto for knick-knacks, mementos, and souvenirs.
  • Remove half your clothing from all closets (to give the appearance of plenty of storage space).
  • Consider packing each room by 30% to give the appearance of more space.
  • Think about rearranging furniture to create a better flow and the appearance of more space (pick up a feng shu book from the library for help with this).
  • Host a painting party! Invite your friends to help you paint the interior of your home in a neutral color, and provide pizza and beer afterward.
  • Have carpets professionally cleaned, or rent a steam cleaner and do it yourself. Cover unsightly stains with throw rugs.
  • Make sure window treatments are clean and functional.
  • Replace all your home’s lightbulbs with at least 100 watt bulbs…people love light!
  • Speaking of light, clean all light fixtures so they sparkle and shine.
  • Clean all light switch plates, and replace cracked or outdated plates.
Home staging tips for your family room

Image courtesy of homedesign2sell.com.

Kitchen Home Staging Tips

  • Remove all appliances from kitchen countertops.
  • Clean out and declutter inside kitchen cabinets.
  • Consider repainting kitchen cabinets if they are looking old and outdated.
  • Replace pendant lights for a fresh, updated look.
  • Set the kitchen and/or dining table with pretty linens, silverware, and flowers.
  • Don’t cook any smelly foods, like bacon or fish. Those smells tend to linger around.
Kitchen home staging tips

Photo courtesy of stagemyownhome.com.

Bathroom Home Staging Tips

  • Replace any old shower curtains.
  • Recaulk where necessary.
  • Place pretty new rugs and towels in bathrooms.
  • Add fresh flowers and/or scented candles.
bath

Image courtesy of realestatestagingassociation.com.

 

At Real Estate Experts, we put a tremendous amount of weight on home staging.  Visit RealEstateExperts.net to learn how we integrate home staging and now, virtual staging, into our listings.

 

 

 

Get Neighborhood Crime Rates and More With Homefacts.com

Get Neighborhood Crime Rates and More With Homefacts.com

Homefacts.com

Whether you are thinking of relocating or have lived in the same home for 20 years, there is an indispensable website you will want to visit for neighborhood crime rates and much more: Homefacts.com. This comprehensive website is committed to providing comprehensive, accurate, and reliable neighborhood information, taking the guesswork out of whether or not a neighborhood is a good fit for your family. Here is what you will find on Homefacts:

Air Quality

Search by zip code to find air quality reports for your neighborhood going back as far as nine years. Homefacts provides air quality percentage levels for five common pollutants, including ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, PM10, and PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter). There is even a map that provides the locations of air quality stations providing data for your neighborhood.

Air Quality Information

Property Values

Type in a city to find up-to-date property values for houses currently for sale, directly from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service. Click on a home for a complete property report, including nearby real estate trends, such as average listing price percentage and media sale price fluctuation.

Neighborhood Crime Rates

Type in a zip code or city to find neighborhood crime rates going back to 1999. Homefacts provides overall crime, violent crime, and property crime scores for your city, as well as in-depth data. Risk levels (low, moderate, or high) are provided for various types of crime (violent crime, murder, rape, burglary, larceny theft, etc.). Homefacts even provides a crime comparison chart detailing how your city’s crime data compares with both North Carolina and national crime data.

Neighborhood Crime Rates

Environmental Hazards

Comprehensive data on environmental hazards for your area is provided, including Superfund sites, brownfields, polluters, and tanks and spills. A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. A Brownfields site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. For each of the environmental hazards, a map is provided in which you can enter your address and see the proximity of the hazards.

Envirnmental Hazards

Demographic Information

Type in your zip code for comprehensive demographic data, including age, educational attainment, marital status, household income, commute statistics, mortgage statistics, and much more. Multiple charts and graphs are included for easy reference.

Sex Offenders

Search by city to see registered sex offenders nearby. A list of offenders, as well as a map of location, is included.

Unemployment Rate

Type in your city to reveal the current unemployment rate report, broken down by month and going back to 1990. There is a handy chart that allows you to compare unemployment rates for different cities of your choosing (for example, Cary unemployment vs. Raleigh unemployment). Charts are also provided which reveal North Carolina’s highest and lowest unemployment rates by city.

Unemployment Rate

These are just some of the features you will find on Homefacts. You will want to visit the site to take full advantage of the wealth of information provided.

Another great source for neighborhood information is Real Estate Experts. Here, our company has provided the most current Triangle-area listings, hot off the press. You’ll want to visit us daily to check out new listings, as well as market trends, property tax data, school report card information, and more. As always, give us a call at 919-813-6449 for more information about all things real estate!

 

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