Are You Bored? Things to do in the Fall in the Triangle

The Triangle is bursting with activities, festivals, educational opportunities, and events.  There are so many things to do in the Fall in the Triangle.  Living in the Triangle means having easy access to cultural facilities like the Durham Performing Arts Center, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the North Carolina State Fair Grounds.  Not to mention, our favorite North Carolina region has more than 200 parks and many town squares equipped for all-ages fun. There’s something for everyone inside the Triangle.

Make space on  your calendars for these fall events!

Pumpkin Picking

Is it fall if you don’t find the perfect pumpkin? Many local farms offer tours, apple picking, pumpkin picking, and fresh produce. Take advantage of them!

Try Page Farm in Raleigh, or Smith’s Family Fun Farm in Hillsborough. There’s also Chatham Pumpkin Patch at Phillips Farms. Chapel Hill is home to 1870 Farm, which hosts hayride tours and pumpkin picking weekends leading up to Halloween!

N.C. State Fair

There’s nothing finer! It’s time to hit the State Fair to celebrate it’s 150th year. Ride your favorite rides, win prizes, taste the food, and have some fun for the whole family.

*A Walk in the Dark

The Museum of History hosts an interactive candle-lit live show that portrays the history of North Carolina, pirates included! Crafts will be held in the lobby, dinner offered from Only Burger. The show is on Saturday, October 28th from 4:30-8:00. Grab your tickets here:

Creepy Crabtree Celebration

Investigate the spooky side of nature at Lake Crabtree County Park this weekend. Scary scavenger hunts, games, and creepy crafts are among the fun festivities of the day. Head over on to the park this Saturday, October 21st from 2:00-6:00PM.

Fearrington Village’s Pumpkin Fest 2017

The gardeners and and chefs will each be working on one of 80 pumpkins to carve beautiful and even spooky jack-o-lanterns! The pumpkins will be tucked into the gardens around the Village Center, making this the perfect stop for a family outing or date night. Head over to Fearrington Village’s Pumpkin Fest Sunday, October 29th.

Hallow-Eno at West Point on the Eno Park

Bring the kids to the Eno for Halloween! Great for kids under 12, this Halloween event includes campfire stories, hayrides, games, crafts, face painting and… of course, candy and treats! There’s no need to register or buy tickets, either. From 6:00-9:00PM, enjoy Hallow-Eno at the Eno Park.

 

Marbles Kooky Spooky Halloween Party

Marbles Museum always has spectacular events. The Kooky Spooky Halloween Party is no exception! Enjoy frightful festivities like Ghoul School, the Monster Mash Dance Party, the Mad Scientist Lab, and more! Bring the family (dressed up, of course!) to Marbles Saturday, October 28th from 6:00-8:30PM. You can find more event details here.

Movie by Moonlight: Halloween Double Feature at Dix Park

Take advantage of the great weather this weekend by watching a double feature at Dorothea Dix Park Saturday, October 21st at 6:00PM-11:00PM.

Want to see the movie queue? Find details like feature films, local food trucks, and parking here.

Pumpkins in the BOOtanical Garden

Are you an artist? Take your carved pumpkin to the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s pumpkin contest. Wander around in the gardens to see other pumpkins, and even participate in a scavenger hunt. There’s fun for the whole family, too. You can make your own natural witch potions, meet some spooky critters, and try some of the arts and crafts. What’s more? All proceeds benefit the NCBG’s Wonder Connection program which is for hospitalized children and teens.

Register here for Friday, October 27th.

*Haunted Trolley Tour

Head downtown to take this 45-minute tour through Raleigh’s most haunted locations. Tours are every 60 minutes, so you’re sure to catch on on either October 20th, 27th, or 28th. The different trolley tour times are: 6:45, 7:45, and 8:45. Find your tickets here.

*The Myers House Halloween Bash in Hillsborough

You guessed it: this event is a life-size replica of the Michael Myers house from Halloween! At this 9th Annual Halloween Bash, there well be outdoor showings of halloween’s best fright flicks like Silent Night Deadly Night and Halloween 4. The night will include bonfires, costumes galore, food trucks, tricks, treats, raffles and more.

The Myers House Halloween Bash is on October 28th, from 6:30PM-12:00AM. Find tickets here.

Spirits of Hillsborough Walking Tour

Halloween weekend is the perfect time to try and get acquainted with some of Hillsborough’s supernatural residents. With over 250 years of history, the city surely has some spirits. This 1.5 mile walking tour will take you through the most haunted places in Hillsborough, from the Seven Hearths to the ghosts of the Eno.

Tours will begin at dark, October 27-30. Make sure to check out the details of registering here.

Considering the Triangle?

If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Chapel Hill, Durham, and Hillsborough as well as any other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online. There’s no shortage of fun, family- friendly events in the area. Call us today at 919-928-5131 or e-mail us at info@realestateexperts.net for additional information.  

Home Renovations in the Fall and Return on Investment

Fall is a great time to consider home renovations.  Why? The real estate market tends to slow down as the cooler months come in. And thanks to our amiable fall weather, renovating and making home improvements in the Fall is feasible.

Consider making renovations during the fall, even though there’s a bit of a scramble to get things finished in time for the holidays. But with that being said, if you’re working to get your house spic-and-span to get it on the market for the spring, it isn’t a bad idea to let the builders in during this time. Especially as most projects have a deadline before the holidays, making builders and contractors a little more open for scheduling. If you’re considering new construction, building an addition, or a kitchen renovation project, Fall might be the perfect time.

If you are considering making home improvements, one of the primary considerations will be the potential return on investment.

Let’s Talk Return on Investment

Remodeling and renovation projects are two great ways to improve the living quality in your home. They also help improve price, comfort, and value of your home! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Here are some common types of home renovations that will give you an idea of what sorts of updates people might be interested in.

Home Improvements

So, it’s pretty easy to see that painting is the most common renovation project. What’s fortunate about that is painting is relatively easy to do, fairly inexpensive, and it’s something you can do yourself.

In the Southeast, flooring renovations are also very common.  Buyers love hardwood floors or even bamboo.

What Should You Spend?

What you might not like the sound of is the organization or financial burden of actually getting a head start on these projects. It can be disconcerting to think about much much money you’re going to put into a project, for sure. But, where there’s a will there’s a way!

It’s important to recognize why and what you’re spending your money on, too. It makes a little more sense to shell out some money if you’re prepping to sell. The average price of improvements people make on their homes before selling hits almost $6,000.   We have worked with clients that spent a lot more than this.  Planning to prepare your budget around a similar number will save you from overspending on renovations, or not doing enough.  Staying ahead of the curve while you are living in your home and improving it along the way, makes putting your house on the market to sell that much easier.

Average amount of money spent on renovation projects

If your home renovations are planned with the intent to sell at a later date, it’s best to focus on what you can do to simply update the look of your home instead. Aesthetic updates are least likely to thin out your wallet, with the average price lingering just under $3,000. While this is a huge motivator for most people to jump on the update wagon, thinking about what you’re renovating your home for, how much the ROI will be, and what’s in your budget will lead you to more satisfaction.

Not to mention, bang for your buck. By sticking with your budget, you won’t over spend and you’ll see the best results for your renovations.

Real Estate Experts

Real Estate ExpertsA trusted real estate professional will be able to walk through your home, and make suggestions as to what kind of improvements would increase your home’s value. They’ll be able to help you decide which projects are worth your time, budget, and attention. With our expert staging advice, collective real estate knowledge and history in the area, Real Estate Experts can help you discover the best renovations to make on your home.

If you would like more information about major or minor home improvements and their expected ROI, contact us today at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to  info@realestateexperts.net. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.

Ready to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

best home improvements for resale

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make.  When we work with buyers, we are not only trying to help you find a home you love, we want to make sure you are making a good investment as well.  The same thinking should be applied to when making home improvements.  We love it when our clients ask our opinion on the best home improvement for resale.  It is always important to not only do something you will want to live with, but keeping an eye upgrades that will help sell your house.

Here are 7 home renovations to consider that will give you a good return on investment and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll be glad you made these home updates when it comes time to sell your home.

1. Don’t let your utility bills soar — Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

You can get an energy audit to check out how sustainable your home is. A lot of utility companies will offer them, so why not take advantage of the service?

Electricity prices can be high, and utility prices a turnoff for potential buyers. Even though in comparison, North Carolina’s residential electricity rates aren’t in the top ten highest… there’s always a way to make a home more attractive to a potential buyer. Help them out by considering appliances that save energy.

Buyers in all price ranges look at utility costs.  This is something buyers factor into their monthly payments.  Making such improvements as adding additional insulation; getting a high efficiency furnace when it is time to replace your HVAC system; installing LED lights throughout your home; and getting Energy Star appliances are just a few types of home improvements that are good for you the home owner but are also great upgrades to sell your house.

2. Renovating Your Kitchen With Give You The Greatest Bang For Your Buck

The kitchen is a serious selling point for potential buyers. Gone are the days of simplistic kitchens with generic countertops, bland cabinets, and out of date appliances. Hey, a double oven is a beautiful thing and stainless steel is drool-worthy.  If you have space for an island, buyers love these too.

Buyers like kitchens that are open to a living area and buyers in all price ranges like granite and stainless steel appliances.

Consider checking out some of the latest kitchen trends (is granite out as a countertop?) to make sure your house will have some allure in the kitchen. Updating your kitchen can add some value to your home, and bump up the price before you sell.

Besides, who doesn’t love a beautiful backsplash?

3. Ask Siri

Smart technology has been making its way into homes for a while now. If you’re about to put your home on the market, it’s a great idea to look into what sorts of smart updates you can make.

Replacing your thermostat? Kill two birds with one stone by installing a smart thermostat that saves energy. Lights, doors, security systems, and home assistants like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa give your home a high-tech feel that appeals to a generation who grew up with smart phones.

4. Remodel Your Bathroom

updatesBathrooms are a source of serious return on investment, they are second best to kitchens.  If you update your bathroom while you’re getting ready to list your house, there’s a great chance your investment will pay off.  New lighting, fixtures, vanity tops and cool mirrors all count. Sufficient storage space is important as well.  If you can afford to upgrade your tile, that counts too but you might just need to work with what  you have.  That is ok too.

Consider the condition of your shower, too. It’s tough to get rid of lime stains and mold. If you can refinish your shower and tub, it’s probably best to do so.

Bathtubs, showers and vanity tops can be reglazed!  This is a great way to save money and have things look really fresh.  If you want to know more about this, just give us a call or shoot us an email.  We are happy to explain this and share picture.

Alternatively, consider remodeling your bathroom with a theme. This year, the “Mediterranean” theme has gone viral.

5. Pay Attention to the Attic

home updatesHere’s a surprising little statistic: fiberglass attic insulation comes with over 100% ROI. Who knew, right? This update not only lowers your heating and electricity bills, but it also gives your attic a refined look. Face it, sometimes we neglect our attics. This means insulation might show wear and tear, which is something a lot of potential buyers might see as a turnoff.

While you’re up there, can you install solar vents? They’re less expensive than installing an attic ceiling fan, and worth the consideration to improve house circulation.

6. Boost Yard Beauty

Curb appeal is huge. If you’ve got a beautiful garden, stunning lawn, and new coat of paint on your home, you bet it’s going to attract more people! It pays off to consider updating the exterior of your house before you’re ready to sell. You can’t make a first impression twice!

Teaming up with a professional landscaping service will make your home look picture perfect from the road. What’s more? It’s know to boost your home’s worth up to 17%.

7.  The Very Biggest Bang For Your Buck is Paint and Carpet

Modern paint colors and new carpet go such a long way.  These are two of the best home improvements for resale.  Don’t use too many colors in your house and make sure the color palate all works together.  Today, the hottest colors are in the gray family and those colors that work with gray.  Many people don’t know about Greige.  What is this?  It is a color that depending on the light can look towards the grays or the tans.  They are wonderful colors because they are versatile.

Real Estate Experts

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Or, alternatively, do you need a hand finding the best contractors for the jobs? Real Estate Experts is here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-928-5131or e-mail us at  info@realestateexperts.net for additional information.

 

Property Managers Can Make You Money…

property managers

 

If you’re thinking of renting out your house, consider this.  Residential property managers can help make and save you money in these five ways.

Property Managers keep your property occupied

Property managers can help minimize vacancies in your rental property. Decreasing vacancies by finding long-term tenants is a way property managers can help you save and make more money. What’s more, is that property managers can help reduce turnover. Turnovers cost money! Paying for advertisement and the cost of fixing any prior tenant damages certainly strains your wallet.

One of the biggest turnoffs in owning a rental property is that you may not always have tenants. Which is to say, you won’t always have money coming in from your investment.

Property Managers help work through legalities

There are a whole host of laws pertaining to the rental market. If you don’t abide by these laws, it’s possible you can run into legal trouble.  The best property management companies knows these laws, and might even have legal consult on their staff!

property managersProperty Managers screen tenants to rent your property to only the best

Most property management companies will use a screening technique to make sure your investment is rented out only to the best tenants. That way, they can protect you from legal issues like a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Property Managers market your property

Being a landlord is, essentially, like running a business! Having a property manager means you’ll have a hand in marketing your “business”.  The best property management companies have been through the process many times, meaning they’ll be able to effectively market your property because they’ve got experience and they use the latest technologies to reach a maximum number of tenant prospects.

Property Managers handle all  maintenance issues

Some property management companies’ include maintenance costs in their management fees. Why not take advantage of that?

The best property management companies have a network of contractors who can take care of the maintenance issues for you.  A network of contractors can also be useful in getting discounts, especially as the management company will need a contractor for more than one property.

Real Estate Experts Property Management Division

At Real Estate Experts, we do things to set ourselves apart from other property management companies.  The foundation of our business is that, “no rental property is going to get beat up on our watch.”  To ensure this does not happen, we do something that no other property management companies do; we inspect the outside of the property monthly and we go inside quarterly.  Maintaining your investment is our highest priority.

It’s important to understand what is involved in renting your home, especially if you haven’t done it before. Don’t let that deter you, or intimidate you!  A great property management company is an important part of the equation, and Real Estate Experts has the knowledge and expertise to help you handle all of the details.  Here is a short list of what we do.  Here is a taste of what we do:

  • An in-depth interview with you allows us to modify a lease to accommodate your specific property needs and keep you protected.
  • All advertising, property showings, credit-criminal checks for quality tenants is our mission.
  • We provide you with a monthly income-expense report along with your monthly check.
  • Monthly/Bimonthly inspections of your property
  • Prepare the right lease that will meet your property and financial requirements
  • We answer your tenants’ calls 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
  • Take care of any and all maintenance issues.

The best news, we do not charge an upfront management fee like other property management companies.  Call us and ask us about our fees and what we do to attract Realtors to show our rental listings.  We do above and beyond to bring our property owners the best service possible.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

5 Reasons to Use a Boutique Firm Instead of a Large Company

boutique real estate firm

Hold on, what’s a boutique real estate firm?

Boutique real estate firms aren’t necessarily what you might think. The word boutique often makes people think high end, expensive, or even unapproachable. Think again!

These real estate firms are, simply put, specialized businesses who focus on customer service, professionalism, and client relationships. Instead of a generic real estate transaction, boutique real estate firms are committed to providing the best experience and representation possible to their clients.

Buying a house is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever do. The investment is worth taking the time to find the best representation possible. With a boutique firm, you can be sure you’ll get a whole team of real estate professionals working to find you the house of your dreams.

How are boutique real estate firms similar to big companies?

In truth, there are a lot of differences in boutique real estate firms and big companies… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities.

  • Both use Multiple Listing Service in the representation of houses they’re marketing. What does that mean? Everyone has the same access to properties on the market.
  • Thanks to this, much of the technology provided to clients and customers is the same. Real estate professionals use the MLS system, and a lot of the technology that comes with it. Since both big firms and boutique firms have the same access to the MLS, they can provide their customers with the same technology.
  • Online marketing offers the same outlets for both big companies and boutique real estate firms. Think Trulia, Realtor.com, Zillow, and all the other online house hunting tools. This means your property will be marketed in all the same places, with the same representation.

So, why should you pick a boutique firm instead of a big company?  Just because you can be in all of the same places, a very important question is how you will be there and how will your property be represented?

Five reasons to use a boutique firm instead of a big company

boutique firm

1.) You’ve got a whole team representing you

You know what’s better than one head? Two! Boutique real estate firms are made up of a team of real estate professionals who work together to represent their clients to the best of their ability.

2.) Personalized customer service is at your fingertips

There’s a huge sense of care, attention to detail, and desire to succeed in a small boutique firm. Wouldn’t you pay the utmost attention when it’s your name on the business cards, and it’s your reputation? With that much emphasis on customer service, you can be sure your property won’t get lost in the sea of other homes for sale.

Boutique firms also care more about their clients than building a business empire. Larger companies work to produce empires, boutique firms work to produce community.

3.) Boutique firms have local authority and a big local network

Since they’re founded locally, boutique firms are typically made up of real estate professionals who know their territory like the back of their hands. They’ve crafted a great network of other professionals who can help you, too. Need a property manager? Your boutique real estate firm can help. Need a utilities company? They’ve got you covered, too.

4.) There’s quality in the quantity of experience

Smaller firms like boutique real estate firms have less incentive to “go with the flow” and produce results in terms of numbers. Instead, the real estate professionals work in the best interest of the client while working with experts in a variety of fields thanks to their large networks. With a smaller firm, agents can connect with the brand and have a personalized interest in the culture of the firm they’re representing.

A hiring manager or owner of a boutique real estate firm is going to pay attention to the professionals they hire. You can expect quality in the quantity of team members.

big company5.) Owners and real estate professionals of boutique firms are passionate about their business and culture

Boutique real estate firms care about their reputation. Members of the firm are passionate about their brand, culture, and customer service. They’re excited to show their attention to detail and excellent representation. And yes, they’re excited to show you they can and will compete with the big firms.

What’s more? Boutique firms have the ability to do their own “thing”. They can be innovative, they’ve got flexibility, and their work is fueled by a love for what they do.

Real Estate Experts

Acquiring real estate is a complex business. Mistakes can literally cost you thousands of dollars or the missed opportunity of owning the home of your dreams. As a buyer, you are always in competition with other buyers who also are looking to buy their dream homes.

There is a vast difference in the level of expertise and quality of service provided by real estate agents. Give yourself the advantage of working with Top real estate agents at Real Estate Experts and get the following value-added services that will make a big difference for you!

We have helped hundreds of families move over time. The depth of our experience is a testament to our expertise and negotiating skills that give our clients a major advantage over buyers working with other agents.

Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  info@realestateexperts.net for additional information.

Of Course You Don’t Need a Buyer’s Agent!

 buyer's agent

In the magical age of the internet, it’s easy to be informed on a ton of topics. It’s easy to think the help of a professional isn’t always necessary because you’ve got that knowledge at your finger tips. Hey, if you can DIY projects, why not have a go without a buyer’s agent?

Oh, contraire.

You might cut out commission, but you cut out your best ally, too. You forgo legal help, a knowledgeable professional, and an expert negotiator. If you’re looking for a home buying headache, here are 5 reasons you don’t need a buyer’s agent.

 1. It’s cheaper to rely on yourself instead of a professional

Actually, this isn’t true at all. A buyers agent will cost you nothing. A seller actually pays the buyer’s agent fees when their home sells. The commission the buyer’s agent gets comes from seller’s wallet, not yours!

2. You love stress

Buyer’s agents are basically real estate agents, data analysts, marketing professionals, and contract wizards. All rolled into one. They save you incredible amounts of time by looking at homes, staying familiar with inventories, and they’ve got access to valuable tools like the MLS system. They can write up offers, contracts, and help you understand the ins and outs of real estate transactions.

The search for the perfect house for you is handled by a professional who has your best interests at heart. When you use a buyer’s agent, you won’t have to worry about the small details of the home buying process. And you’ll save yourself some serious stress.

3. The internet is the only resource you need

You can find the perfect home on your own, thanks to websites like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia.  Of course, they’re awesome resources to check out some of the houses in your target area. However, you can’t really rely on the information you find online house hunting. Zestimates are often wrong, some of the listings are out of date.

The most accurate information you can find will come from a real estate professional. The MLS in your area is accurate, and you can only get access through your chosen professional.

4. You have loads of local connections

Real estate professionals have connections to everyone. OK, maybe that’s a generalization. But, they surely do have connections that make the home buying and selling process easier. From real estate attorneys to contractors, interior designers to mortgage brokers, a realtor has them all.

Not to mention, they can reach a massive amount of people through their network. This means your home will get on the market, be seen by the right people, and have more offers.

What’s more? They have access to properties coming onto the market soon. They exchange advice, ideas, and other useful tidbits with one another to bring sales together.

5. You are a fantastic negotiatorbuyer's agent

Are you a sales person? Probably not. Are you a marketer? Maybe. Regardless of your affinity for finding good deals and sales, your real estate professional is better at it than you. It’s their job!

It can be complicated to negotiate through the multifaceted transaction that is buying a house. Buyer’s agents are perfect mediators who can help you achieve the best results, for you. They’ll help you get the best offer possible. They’ll help you work through counter-offers.

Most buyers don’t consider what they don’t know. It’s important to recognize you don’t know the landscape of real estate transactions like a real estate professional. They’ll open your eyes to options you didn’t even know you had!

Real Estate Experts

A Buyer Agent, or a real estate agent working for a buyer, works solely for the buyer and has no legal or other responsibilities to the seller. When working with a Buyer Agent, you have the advantage of personal representation, independent counseling, loyalty, confidentiality, and trust. On the other hand, while helping you present an offer and then negotiate and close a transaction, a general real estate agent has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the seller and agent of any property you choose.

At Real Estate Experts we are focused on finding the ideal home for you. We are fully committed to you throughout the entire buying process; our sole career is real estate. We pride ourselves on listening to your needs and wants and delivering the best results possible

At Real Estate Experts, we want to be your ally while you look for the best home for you.  You’re not getting an agent, you’re getting a team. We’ll work with you every step of the way, from financing to floor plans. Start to finish, we want to help you get into your new home.

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  info@realestateexperts.net.

Real Estate Words: What’s the Meaning of Encroachment?

You don’t need any “beware of dog” signs. You have legal rights!

Real estate terminology can be tough to grasp. There are a lot of words seemingly interchangeable, when they’re defined very differently. The definition of them can differ greatly, or minutely. Understanding the nuances of the terminology can help you get a fuller understanding of your rights as a home owner, buyer, or seller.

What’s the meaning of encroachment?

what's the meaning of encroachment

The definition of this term is sort of an umbrella. When you think of the word encroaching, you typically think about someone slowly getting in your space. In terms of encroachment in real estate, it means property encroachment. Simply put: trespassing physically or in the building of structures that intrude on your property.

A neighbor builds a shed that looms over your yard. Another neighbor expands their house, the porch seemingly inches away from your living room window. A fence touches your property, carving out some of your land for your neighbors. Your garden is trampled and consequently ruined by people crossing your yard for access to a public space. These are all examples of encroachment.

Even utility companies can encroach on your property. In certain circumstances, they can do this to plant power poles, or similar structures.  This is actually called an easement. Many properties have power or sewer easements so that utility companies can access power or sewer lines in the event of an emergency or for some other reason.

But how can this happen if there are private property rights?

The ways encroachment can happen in real estate

Let’s just say this: some people don’t pay attention to boundary lines when they’re building. If you hire a contractor to do the building for you, it’s possible they won’t adhere to the boundary lines of your and your neighbor’s property.

Sometimes, property lines aren’t drawn correctly.  Not all surveys are perfect but it is truly rare when they are wrong. This is why it is so important to have a survey in your name.  Not only does it protect you against any title insurance survey related problem, it can be used to identify problems before you close on a home or something for a contractor to work from if you are making an improvement to your  home or lot.  In realty, most of the time homeowners and sellers won’t even notice there’s an encroachment until they try to sell the home. The property survey will show the encroachment issues, though.

Private property disputes have solutions, and settlement occurs in a few ways. However, any encroachment must be documented or cleared before the title of a home can transfer from the seller to the buyer.

What you can do

Before beginning any expansions, updates, or improvements to your home it’s important to get a property survey.  If you did not get a survey when you bought your home, it is advisable to get one if you are making improvement, like putting up a fence, that involves your property boundaries.  If you find property encroachment during the property survey, you must tell your real estate attorney as soon as humanly possible!

Even though an encroachment is something buyers may be unhappy about, it won’t necessarily break a sale as long as it’s addressed early on.  Also, many encroachments are not a huge issue.  A neighbor’s fence or garden might be a fraction of an inch over the property line.  Things like this typically are not issues.  If, however, your neighbor’s fence is a foot inside you property line, it is best if this is discovered before you buy but if it is afterwards, these issues can still be settled.

How to settle property encroachment disputes

If there is a real issue, like a fence is significantly encroaching on your property, a neighbor can be asked to move the fence. Sometimes issues can  be cleared with the title insurance company in advance of closing.  In one instance, I had a client purchasing a property with a new detached garage.  The survey found that half of the garage was sitting outside the allowable neighborhood set back line.  If a neighbor wanted to make an issue, they could have been asked to move the garage.  At the closing table the closing attorney cleared this issue with the title insurance company and my clients also got a settlement for this in case they were asked to move the garage.

Many times when it is not an issue, all you have to do is disclose that a neighbors fence or garden is a faction of an inch over the property line.  Nine times out of ten, when a buyer knows these things ahead of time, they never become an issue.

 

Confused with easements? Here’s what it means

An easement is the right to use someone else’s land for a purpose. Generally, it’s granted by the property owner as to let others legally cross the land or use it. Money can be exchanged for use or even as a reoccurring payment of “rent”.

It’s important to note an easement is delineated in writing. This right of others to use the land also passes on to future

easement in real estate

owners.

Alternatively, encroachment is an unauthorized intrusion onto your land. If there are damages done by way of trespassing, the owner of the property is entitled to a lawsuit in order to recover damages.

Real Estate Experts

With the help of a real estate professional, encroachment and easements aren’t difficult to sort out. Your real estate professional of choice can help you understand North Carolina’s many laws and statutes around these issues.

At Real Estate Experts, we can help you sort out your real estate questions. We’re experienced buyer’s agents who are prepared to help you find the perfect home for you. As we’re obligated to you, the buyer. So we’ll keep your best interests at heart and work to get you into your dream home quickly!

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to  info@realestateexperts.net.

 

 

How Do You Sell a House With Pets?

We love our furry friends. They’re family! But when you’re trying to sell the family home, sometimes it comes with challenges if there are furry members of your family. Not everyone loves Fido or Fluffy, so it’s important to take a look at what you can do to protect your home from losing interest from potential buyers because of your pets.

Before you sell your house, there are a lot of things you can and should be doing to repair, clean, and present your home. That way, all signs of Fluffy and Fido are invisible. If you want your home to sell for top dollar, pay attention to these key points to keep buyers interested.

Consider Why People Don’t Have Pets

Lots of people have pets. In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association, 44% of American households have pets. There are a lot of reasons the other 66% of American’s don’t have pets.

Some people may have allergies preventing them from having household pets. Selling a home with pets means taking care to prevent these people from noticing there was a pet living in the home. Another thing to remember is that many people have sensitive senses of smell. This means it may not be in your best interest to use an odor neutralizer — like Fresh Wave — to neutralize any pet odors in your home.  Never use  air fresheners or other scent-masking products when you have your home on the market.  They bother many people with allergies and most people really dislike them and feel a home owner is trying to cover something up.  Neutralizing pet odors in the way to go.

Another reason some people don’t have pets is that they or their children are afraid of certain animals. Having a dog barking, a cat growling, or even a bird chirping may make them uncomfortable. Ultimately, this could prevent people from falling in love with and eventually buying your property.

These aren’t the only reasons people may not like homes with pets have lived. They’re surely things to be mindful of when you’re selling a home with pets. With these tips, you can prevent buyer turn-off from your home.

tips for selling a home with petsGet Rid of Your Pet

Okay, before you worry, getting rid of your pet is not necessary!  It is not a bad idea to remove a pet just for a showing or we let people know what pets are in the home.  You want to minimize the impact of having a bet.  All you can do is your best.

One of the best ways to ensure people don’t find themselves face-to-face with your family pets is to remove them from the home. This can mean bringing them to a neighbor’s home, or even to a doggy daycare or take them for a walk during a showing.

Cats can be a little trickier, especially if they’re indoor-only. If you can let the kitty outside, definitely do so. If you can’t, you can put up a sign that lets the real estate professional know there’s a cat that cannot be let outside. Even if you put up a note, be sure to remove any signs of Fluffy!

If you truly have no other options, opt for a crate or seclusion of the pet to a smaller room.

Can’t Remove the Pets? Hide the Pets and Pet Supplies

Here’s a list of the things you should hide or remove from your house:

  • Cat and dog beds, blankets, or furniture covers
  • Seal doggy and kitty doors if you have them
  • Pack up and put away animal carriers
  • Toys, food bowls, litter boxes, puppy pads, and other pet supplies
  • Don’t forget to remove a cat tree, window hammock, or anything else that signifies this is where the cat plays
  • Remove personal photos of the pet from your living room, bedroom, or the refrigerator

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’ll help you get started successfully putting away your pets and pet supplies.

Fix What the Messes They Made

Literally and figuratively, folks. Having dogs means there may be droppings in your yard. Fido may even have dug some holes in the garden. Filling these holes in, picking up the droppings, and removing the signs of backyard puppy play can increase your chances of impressing potential buyers.

It’s crucial to pay attention to the odor of the home. Many people don’t notice an animal smell, especially if they’re used to it. To be sure you’ve effectively eradicated the pet odors in your home, have a neighbor or friend take a walk through to see if they can smell anything. You might want to consider bringing in a professional to help clean the carpets, remove stains, and deep clean the house.

Can’t get rid of a smell? Meet your new best friend: Nature’s Miracle or Fresh Wave. There are other enzyme cleaning sprays that will do the trick, too.

Don’t forget to pay attention to any damage pets have caused in the home. There may be flaking paint thanks to Fluffy sharpening her claws. There might be scratched bottoms of doors and ripped carpets.

If you’re worried about the things a potential buyer may find, you can get a pre-sales inspection. This will help you find the necessary repairs.

Real Estate Experts

Selling a home with pets can be tricky. Keeping these tips for selling a home with pets in mind and you’ll prevent potential buyer turn-off! If you keep your home in show-ready condition, pet cleanup will be easy.

Home staging isn’t a bad idea when it comes to selling a home with pets. Check out our room-by-room home staging checklist to make sure you’re on the right track.

Some of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for sale are quick and easy. Buyers look at everything! They truly imagine themselves living in your property. Paying special attention to these areas will give your property noticeable results.

To hear firsthand from our clients about the power of staging your home, click here. For more information about preparing to sell your home and more home staging tips and insight into staging, contact us anytime at 919-813-6449 or info@realestateexperts.net. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.

What Does FSBO Mean, and Should You Try It?

Most people consider using the services of a real estate professional in the process of buying and selling homes and properties. There’s a common misconception using a real estate professional during this transaction process means paying a big old commission to said real estate professional.

“FSBO” stands for “For Sale By Owner.” Pronounced “Fiz-boh”, this term refers to when a homeowner opts to sell his or her home without using a real estate agent. Without the aid of a real estate professional, the seller, more or less, assumes all responsibilities of the agent or broker. And that can be a big headache.

However, this isn’t to say there aren’t any advantages to a FSBO transaction.

Advantages of FSBO

Selling your home by yourself has its advantages. For one thing, it’s likely you’ll save money on commission. Even though there’s no real fixed commission rate, 6% is a common figure.

Some sellers are experienced in the process of buying and selling houses. For these individuals in particular, a FSBO property might actually be beneficial in terms of a financial decision. With ample knowledge about real estate, sellers can save money.

Disadvantages of FSBO

The benefits of FSBO are fairly limited, so the disadvantages of FSBO outweigh them.  Pure FSBO homes will not appear on the Multiple Listing Service agents use to find homes for sale. That means a FSBO home will be less visible to the world of buyers!

As a seller, you’ll likely save money only on the listing agent’s commission. The buyer is likely to have an agent, which FSBOmeans you might end up paying commission to them, depending on the Buyer Broker agreement.

Here’s another tricky situation. Imagine a court case where your “opponent” has a lawyer, and you don’t. Translate this situation to  real estate transactions, and it’s pretty sticky right? The buyer’s agent is working to get the best deal possible for his or her client. Who is on your side to get the best possible deal for you?

Consider this: there’s a reason people get paid to do what they do. Professionals have training that they constantly use, which is to say they cultivate skills. Yes, you can absolutely figure out how to DIY your own real estate transaction, just like you can figure out how to do your own car repairs or a variety of other DIY projects. But if you’re not a plumber and you don’t know anything about pipes, should you try and fix them on your own?

A licensed real estate professional, agent, or broker has the tools and training that enable them to do their job better and faster. Just like a mechanic or a plumber. Is the money you may (possibly) save on commission worth your time? Consider hiring a listing agent, or real estate professional to help.

Why Work With a Buyers Agent

It may be tempting to “go it alone” in an effort to save money, but in our experience, the stress, unforeseen 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. Working with a Buyer’s Agent means you’ll have a personal ally in your real estate transactions.

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.

What’s more? A Buyer Agent can show you every home listed in the REALTOR®’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties. Additionally, a Buyer Agent can show you builder models to select your own, brand-new properties and unlisted homes.

Real Estate Experts

At Real Estate Experts, we’re 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 If you are interested in learning about properties available in them in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  info@realestateexperts.net for additional information.  

Just Got Your First Job Out of College?

Don’t buy a car, buy a house instead!

It’s an exciting time of life. You’ve just graduated college. Or, alternatively, you’re celebrating landing your first job out of college. Either way, it’s an exciting time of life. You’re funded by a wallet a little larger than you’re used to, so it’s tempting to funnel your finances to a big purchase. You’ve been driving the same car for a few years, probably something second hand.

Tempted to buy a new car? Don’t give in to that temptation. Buy a house instead! Here’s what you need to know to understand why you should invest your money into a property instead of a vehicle. Let’s talk investments, assets, and values.

What’s a Depreciating Asset?

Essentially, a depreciating asset is something that will decrease in value over time. Physical property is a great example of a depreciating asset because over time, physical things breakdown. Just like a car (see where this is going?)!

As an asset, it loses value over time. Consider this: you finance a loan for a $15,000 car. You pay the loan off over several years, but you end up spending more money than $15,000 because you’re paying interest, too. Over several years, you lose money that you won’t get back when and if you sell the car.

A car is an expense, not necessarily an asset.

So, what’s an Appreciating Asset?

Fortunately, this concept is pretty easy to understand. An appreciating asset is something that increases value over time. Simple, in essence, right? The increase in value can come from increased demand, lower inventory or supply, or as a result from inflation or interest rates.

Because you can improve a home, update a property, or invest in remodeling, a house’s value can increase from the time you purchase it to the time you sell it. Especially if you “maintain your asset”. Real estate can be purchased with the mindset that it’ll be worth more in the future, unlike a car which has a finite life span.

Don’t Buy a Car, Invest in a House

Even though we’re on the topic of what not to buy, we’ll suggest this: learn the power of principal paydown over time. By paying more towards your mortgage, you’re saving money in interest.

Check out this example of why paying down your mortgage can save you money.

Extra payments add up. A $200,000 30-year home loan with an interest rate of 5% would cost $186,512 in interest with the traditional 12 payments a year. Make the equivalent of 13 monthly payments every year, and the loan will be retired in 26 years and you will pay only $153,813 in interest — a savings of $32,69

You can save yourself money in the long term by investing in a house, paying down your mortgage, and focusing on assets that appreciate instead of depreciate.

But Wait, What If You’re Going to Move to a New City?

Of course you’re not sure if you’ll stay in the house forever! There’s a lot of unknowns, especially early on after graduating college. What if a job takes you somewhere else in the country?

Here’s where the term investment property comes in. Consider renting out your property, or choosing a property management company to hold the fort down for you. If and when you need to move, a property management company can manage your investment for you.

Property Management With Real Estate Experts

Our property management team is ready to hear from you if you’re looking to turn your home into a rental or investment property.

At Real Estate Experts, you pay zero lease-up fee, which means we don’t get paid until you do. Once your property is leased, we charge at the bottom end of the spectrum, just 8% of the rent. And that’s our only fee, ever. Not only do we provide some of the cheapest rates, but I also feel confident telling you that we provide the best service you can get.

In order to charge the least and give the most, we can only work with excellent clients. Learn what’s required to be a Real Estate Experts client.

Real Estate Experts

If you’re ready to take the plunge into home ownership, we’re ready to help. Yes, it’s one of the most expensive decisions you’ll ever make. However, we’re advocates for the first time buyer and have years of experience helping new owners get into the home of their dreams.

To see Real Estate Experts’ newest listings in the Triangle area, click here. Feel free to give us a call anytime at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  info@realestateexperts.net.