Nearly Half of U.S. Renters Are Burdened by Housing Costs

Over the past ten years, the American economy has been on a rapid rise, yet more and more people are struggling to afford rent. According to the new report published by Apartment List, almost half of American renter households can be classified as cost-burdened, spending more than the recommended 30% of their incomes on rent.

Share of cost burdened renters

Essentially half of renter households are still spending more than the recommended amount on their housing costs, while nearly one in four spends at least half of their household income on rent. The number of cost-burdened households reached an all-time high in 2014, even though the cost burden rate was improving. Luckily, the number of rent-burdened households has started to fall and is currently lower than the 2014 peak by 774,000 households. Importantly, 2017 was the first year since 2010 that the number of unburdened renter households decreased, indicating that this year’s improvement in the cost burden rate reflects genuine improvement rather than compositional change. That said, the total number of rent-burdened households remains higher than the 2007 level by 3.1 million households.

In North Carolina, the overall cost burden rate fell from 46.9% to 46.4%. This is well below the national average than the national average of 49.5%.

Rental Housing Cost burden rate is decreasing in the Durham metro area.

According to Apartment List’s report, Durham has the nation’s #41 highest cost burden rate. The cost burden rate decreased from 51.2% in 2016 to 49.4% in 2017. This in turn makes Durham the #41 highest cost burden rate of the nation’s 100 largest metros. 25.0% of renter households in Durham are severely cost-burdened, while 24.4% are moderately burdened. The of cost-burdened renter households in Durham has increased by 9,573 since 2007.

In contrast, the rental Housing cost burden rate is increasing in the Raleigh metro area.

Raleigh has the nation’s #8 lowest cost burden rate.  Yet, the cost burden rate in Raleigh increased from 42.1% in 2016 to 42.5% in 2017. Raleigh has the #8 lowest cost burden rate of that nation’s 100 largest metros. 17.7% of renter households in Raleigh are severely cost-burdened, while 24.8% are moderately burdened. The number of cost-burdened renter households in Raleigh has increased by 13,787 since 2007.

Cost burden rates tend to be highest in coastal areas with high housing costs.

Miami has a cost burden rate of 62.7 percent, the highest of the nation’s 100 largest metros. Nearly one in three cost-burdened renters (30.8 percent) lives in California, New York or Florida. In 20 of the 25 largest metros, a household earning the median renter income would be cost-burdened by the median rent.

Rental Trends: Raleigh vs National Comparisons

Luckily, the number of rent-burdened households has started to fall and is currently lower than the 2014 peak by 774,000 households. That said, the total number of rent-burdened households remains higher than the 2007 level by 3.1 million households.

Signs of improvement can also be seen when we compare growth in the median renter income to growth in the median rent. The chart below shows that the median renter income grew faster than the median rent for the sixth straight year.

rental income gap closing with rent growth

At last, Apartment List explored the relationship between income growth and cost-burden increase. Below is a chart that demonstrates that when income growth outpaces rent growth, cost burden rates will tend to fall. In the Triangle, income has been growing faster than rents, due to the booming job market in the area, which in turn affects the cost burden rate in the Triangle. Large technology companies and vast job opportunities in science and academia make the Research Triangle surrounding Raleigh appealing to new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grads. Combined with relatively low housing prices, the Triangle is the next go-to destination for tech workers around the nation. Despite rapidly increasing rent prices, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill are still more affordable than most tech centers.

Cost burden increases when rent grows faster than income

A lack of affordable housing in areas of economic opportunity remains one of the most pressing issues. Households that struggle to pay rent oftentimes have to cut back other basic necessities, which can result in adverse and long-lasting consequences. While the data do show some improvement, there is still much left to accomplish to ensure that everyone can comfortably afford a place to rest their head.

Real Estate Experts Property Management Company

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.

Related Posts: Property Managers Can Make You Money…;Rental Property ManagementAre you thinking of renting out your property?

Real Estate Market Update – Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill – January 2018

Real Estate Market Update: Median Sales Prices Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary North CarolinaReal Estate Market Update:  Sales prices in Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary are on the rise. The three-year trend is excellent with median prices in  Chapel Hill and Cary around the $400,000 mark. Houses in much of the rest of the Triangle, including Durham, are more affordable. Median prices in Durham, NC are about $250,000.  Nationally, housing affordability remained flat for 2017.

To view homes for sale in Chapel Hill NC, visit Real Estate Experts web site.

Real Estate Market Update: Median Days on Market Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary North CarolinaReal Estate Market Update:  Days on Market (DOM) have been are still are amazingly low.  This means that overall houses are selling fast.  In January, however, DOM have increased a bit.  I think this is primarily due to a slightly slower start to the season and the weather.  To be specific; in July 2017 Average DOM were 13 in Chapel Hill, 5 in Durham and 6 in Cary.  In November 2017 this increased a bit to 33 in Chapel Hill, 8 in Durham and 10 in Cary.

In January, this has stretched out a bit more to 36 in Chapel Hill, 10 in Durham and 14 in Cary.  I expect to see these numbers come down as the season heats up.

If you are looking for homes for sale in Durham NC, visit Real Estate Experts web site.

 

Real Estate Market Update: Months Supply of homes for sale in Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary North CarolinaReal Estate Market Update:  The supply of inventory is incredibly low.  I don’t remember a time when inventory was this low.  In Chapel Hill there is less than 3 months of inventory and in Durham and Cary there is less than 2 months of inventory.  This is truly an excellent time to sell.  If you have been sitting on the fence, with inventory low, it is a sellers market.  Prices are rising.  With interest rates still low, buyers are moving on the opportunity before prices rise further.

If you are looking for homes for sale in Cary NC, visit Real Estate Experts web site.

Real Estate ExpertsReal Estate Experts is a full service real estate firm.  We represent buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of residential homes.  We pride ourselves in our honesty and integrity, our knowledge of the home purchase and sale processes and our level of communication and responsiveness. We also have a residential property management company where we work with homeowners that want to rent their homes and we work with investors to get them the best Return on Investment (ROI) when purchasing investment property.  If you would like our help with any of these services, please contact us at 919-928-5131 or info@realestateexperts.net.

Related Posts:

Does Your Property Management Company Inspect Your Investment Monthly?Price My Home to Home ValueReady to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

Does Your Property Management Company Inspect Your Investment Monthly?

We have two key foundations of our business model.  Real Estate Experts’ property managers inspect the outside of the properties we manage monthly and we inspect the inside quarterly.  The driver behind our business is that no properties under our management will get beat up on our watch.

Do you own a rental or investment property?  Do you use a property management company? How many property management companies did you interview before deciding who to hire to protect your investment?

I was with clients the other day looking at their rental property that they are going to put on the market to sell.  This property is managed by a local property management company.  It is not managed by us, Real Estate Experts.

We found this crack in the foundation while doing a visual inspection of the property.  What would you do if you saw something like this and you were paying a property management company to take care of your investment?

Property Management

 

These home owners had a tree go down over a year ago.  The tree was removed but no one told the owners about this crack nor suggested that it be repaired.  If Real Estate Experts was the property management company for this home, this never would have happened.

Why?

Under our business model, we would have caught this problem immediately.  Real Estate Experts’ property managers inspect the outside of the properties we manage monthly and we inspect the inside quarterly.  We also respond immediately to things like trees going down.  We would not just have a tree company remove the tree, we would go to the house and inspect it to make absolutely sure there was no damage done to the home or other trees.

What other property management company inspect the inside and outside of the properties under their management on a regular basis.  None that I know of.  This is just one thing that sets Real Estate Experts apart from the pack.  At Real Estate Experts, we go the distance to protect your investment.  The #1 requirement is that no property under our management will get beat up on our watch and certainly if there is storm damage we are going to find it and have it repaired.  This is why we visit the properties we manage on a monthly and quarterly basis.

We would have seen a crack like this when it happened.  We would have gone to the house to inspect the property.  If by chance it happened later, we still would have caught it at one of our monthly inspections.  We would notify the property owner and the repair would have happened next.

I am glad that we found it now so it will be repaired properly before putting the  house on the market for sale.

ADDENDUM TO THIS POST –  A few days later I returned to the property with a general contractor to evaluate the needed repair.  This is what we saw this time.

property management

Like I said, this problem would NEVER get this far on our watch!

 

Real Estate Experts Property Management Company

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.

Related Posts: Property Managers Can Make You Money…;Rental Property ManagementAre you thinking of renting out your property?

 

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.

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.

Moving? Consider Renting Out Your Home

When you’re relocating, many people assume this means they need to sell their home. Of course, you want the money your home is worth so you can pour it into your new home. But is this truly your only option? In some cases, there’s another option. Consider renting out your home!

Maybe you’ve had your house on the market for a while, but you haven’t gotten any bites. Maybe you need to move quickly, and you haven’t had time to market your house properly. Whatever your reasons or your situation, there are benefits to renting your home out.

Why you should consider renting your home out

We know real estate is a good way to make income, make investments, and boost your wealth. All three things sound pretty great, right?

Some people use the equity they’ve built in one house and use it against their next. Buying a house is an incredibly large expense, so it makes sense you might want to use what you’ve built in one house to pay for the next. The option of investment stands, though. You can turn your home into an investment property, reaping the benefits of the added income renting the home brings along.

Turning your home into an investment property surely has some benefits.

The benefits of renting your home out

For starters, you may be able to get better interest rates for your mortgage. You can try talking with several mortgage lenders to find one who will work with you in your individual situation and help you make a financially responsible decide with your property.

You also have the knowledge of potential renters because you’ve lived in the area for a while. At least, for some period of time. You know to market your property, you know it’s strengths and weaknesses, and you can help your favorite real estate professional get to know the property better, too.

Because you’re living in the home before you move (for most situations), you have a chance to fix the property while you’re still living there. Repairs, updates, and new appliances are some issues you can tackle. However, if

renting your home out

you wait until the property is rented out, it’s entirely possible more expensive repairs can be written off with the help of whoever your financial consultant may be.

So, you’re thinking of renting out your home?

Welcome to Club Landlord. There’s work involved here which doesn’t involve extra income. Instead it involves some challenges like finding tenants, finding good contractors, late payments, and more. Maintenance can be difficult, especially when you’re not around to witness the scenes or situations requiring maintenance. Not to mention, there is a financial cost associated with owning a rental property.

There are times when your property will be vacant. There are times when your property will be damaged, or otherwise. One way to seal the deal on an effective and less stressful rental is to find a property management company.

The good news is that a property management company would have your back. At Real Estate Experts, we offer property management services that would fit your every maintenance, property service, and management your rental needs.

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.

 

House Flipping Local Edition: Profitable Zip Codes in the Triangle

Have you tuned into ABC, TLC, or HGTV and found yourself lost in the world of house flipping, renovations, and updates? It’s an exciting idea! You can tackle projects that update your home into the house of your dreams. You can add value to your property. Alternatively, you can spruce up a fixer-upper and set that house on the market for profit!

By definition, flipping a house is the process of rehabbing the property, and then selling the home for a second time within a 12-month period. House flipping for profit involves the investment model of buying, selling, and the “rehabbing” of houses for profit. Hopefully, for a quick profit! Even though house flipping is neither easy nor for the faint of heart, the practice of flipping houses is on the rise in the Triangle.

In 2016 alone, 1,202 house flips or house flip transactions were recorded in the Triangle. That’s a 6% year-over-year increase! What’s more? According to a report run by ATTOM Data Solutions, almost 5% of all home sales in the Triangle are actually house flipping transactions. So, where are the profits to be made in our local real estate market?

Most Profitable ZIP Codes in the Triangle

ATTom Data Solution’s report showed there are several ZIP codes in the Triangle with 20 or more home flipping sales in 2016. In fact, there are 26 zipcodes in the Triangle where house flipping transactions were 20, or more. Of all of those house flipping transactions in 2016, the median price originally paid for a home was $144,870, with a median flip price of $218,892. The profit? It’s close to a gross profit of $74,000. On average, flipped homes spent 188 days on the market.

However, there were two ZIP codes in the Triangle left out of the ATTom Data Solution’s report on house flipping because their flip totals were less than 20 units. Don’t let that fool you, though. Their profitability reaches farther than other ZIP codes in the Triangle. Let’s take a look.

Where Are the Profits?

The ZIP code 27601 happens to be the most profitable of all Triangle ZIP codes and regions, with an average of 244% return on investment for the total of 15 house flip transactions in 2016. Which is to say, an average of $207,500 as a gross profit per transaction. That’s not all this ZIP code had to offer, too. 27601 had the highest percentages of house flipping transactions, with 10.2% of all home sales in the ZIP code in 2016 classifying as a house flip. 27601 encompasses the majority of downtown Raleigh.

Next up, and also not included on the master list of 26 house flipping ZIP codes in the Triangle, is the 27608 ZIP code. The return on investment in this area hit an average of 165% on the mere 10 house flipping transactions recorded in 2016. Crazy, right? That’s not all; the average gross profit in this area hit $396,250. 27608 encompasses neighborhoods inside the belt line, and also just north of downtown in Cameron Village.

Other ZIP Codes

See full slideshow here

27601 and 27608 aren’t the only profitable house flipping ZIP codes in the Triangle area. Here are the top ten most profitable ZIP codes in the Triangle:

  1. 27701 in Durham 
  2. 27707 in Durham
  3. 27703 in Durham
  4. 27597 in Zebulon
  5. 27704 in Durham
  6. 27603 in Raleigh
  7. 27712 in Durham
  8. 27615 in Raleigh
  9. 27705 in Durham
  10. 27609 in Raleigh

Interested in Flipping Houses?

A trusted real estate professional can help you navigate the house flipping process, if it’s what you decide you’d like to do. At Real Estate Experts, we have many years of local experience. We can help you choose a location, find a property, and execute the house flipping process.

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  info@realestateexperts.net.

 

Is Granite Out? Find Out What’s In

There’s no denying that granite is a phenomenal countertop material. It’s pretty, durable, and affordable at a $75 average per square foot. Granite’s 30-year run on top as the preferred type of countertop isn’t necessarily coming to an end, but there are a variety of different materials being used for countertops now too. Home owners and buyers are looking towards more modern designs that use these different materials to create an updated kitchen. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, quartz is the leading competitor.

Quartz

Is Granite Out?
The durability of this material is impeccable. Resistant to scratches, chips, and stains, quartz overtakes granite in durability. Quartz can also defend itself from heat, which means it’s OK to put that pan on the countertop after pulling it off the stove. Granite and marble are porous materials. While granite and marble need yearly sealing treatments to keep the countertops in good condition, quartz needs nothing of the sort. Engineered quartz comes in uniform designs because as it is engineered, there’s no one-of-a-kind slabs to choose from. But don’t worry, because quartz comes in many different colors and designs.

It’s also very affordable. Granite costs $75 on average per square foot, while marble costs $85 on average per square foot. Quartz is right in between at $80 on average per square foot.

Stainless Steel

Is Granite Out?This material is very functional and efficient in the kitchen. Heat resistant, rust resistant, and stain resistant, stainless steel as a countertop material can be very efficient. Another unique feature of stainless steel is that it won’t let bacteria harbor on its surface. The material is easy to clean, however it has it’s drawbacks.

Stainless steel will scratch easy. Choosing a brushed stainless finish will help in the battle against visible scratches, but it’s a good idea to use a cutting board during food prep.

SoapstoneIs Granite Out?

This attractive material is non-porous, resistant to stains, and it comes in a variety of colors. What more could you want out of a countertop material? The natural quarried stone doesn’t need sealing treatments like granite or marble which makes it low-maintenance, too.

Unfortunately, soapstone is soft so it’s likely to scratch easily. It also comes in smaller slabs than granite, marble, or quartz. This means that the seams of the slabs may be visible in the countertops.

Wood

Is Granite Out?Natural wood is becoming a commonality in homes. It’s beautiful, unique, and adds warmth to any home. Used for butcher blocks and custom made furniture, wood creates a beautiful and tasteful environment. Wood countertops are stunning, but their downside is that they damage easily. Heat and moisture will injure your wooden countertops which must be sealed monthly. The upside? Wood countertops can be refinished if damage occurs to them.

ConcreteIs Granite Out?

Concrete countertops aren’t new to the market, but their updates are. While they used to chip and crack easily, concrete countertops now prove to be less prone to damage. Heat resistant and naturally very strong, there are advantages to this material. Slabs of concrete can also be sealed to prevent staining. They’re also available in a variety of colors to suit your kitchen design.

Which is Right for You?

Choosing a material to remodel your kitchen countertops with can help your kitchen look more upscale. While choosing the material is important, it’s also important to figure out if you’re remodeling for yourself. Or, on the other hand, are you remodeling for a potential buyer? If you’re remodeling for the latter situation, try one of these different countertop materials to modernize your kitchen.

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? 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.

Triangle Region Housing Market Annual Report for 2016

The annual housing market report for 2016 provides insight not only into the past year, but for the upcoming year as well. 2016 saw the election of a new president which means there will be changes in federal policies on the housing market and real estate. The new president, Donald Trump, has a history of real estate experience. He’s indicated interest in investing in infrastructure development as well as the development of new housing and construction. This is intriguing for the future of residential real estate, according to the annual report on the Triangle Region Housing Market.

Let’s take a look at the information provided in 2016‘s Housing Market Report for the Triangle area.

Interest Rates and Mortgage RatesTriangle Housing Market Report

Interest rates on homes did not rise as predicted. But like the year prior the Federal Reserve waited until December to create a short-term rate increase. With that in mind, 2017 interest rates are expected to increase over the year. The economy is healthy, unemployment is at a nine-year low, and wages are higher. The market outlook is positive.

2017 is expected to see mortgage rates stay below 5.0 percent. Rates aren’t expected to grow by more than .75 percent throughout the year. If mortgage rates begin to climb higher, there’s a possibility for rate lock. This means that homeowners may stay in their current housing situation instead of trading their property for a higher-rate property. If this situation occurs, it might affect the availability of affordable homes and a strain on the already-struggling housing inventory.

Listings, New Construction, and Sales

Inventory of homes in 2016 was lower than other years in a year-by-year comparison. Low home inventory is expected for 2017, too. At the end of 2016, there were 7,447 active listings. New listings increased by 4.2 percent, helping 2016 to finish out with 46,193 listings. Most new listings, compared to 2015,  came from East Durham, Central Durham, Knightdale/Wendell/Zebulon, Inside the Beltline, and in Chatham County. The top five areas in the Triangle where the inventory of homes for sale increased from 2015 are Wake Forest, Hillsborough, Durham, Inside the Beltline, and in Chapel Hill or Carrboro.New Construction Annual Housing Report 2016

New homes are being built. In the Triangle region in 2016, new construction built an inventory of 31,126 units. Compared to 2015 where new construction built 28,512 units, 2016 shows positive growth. In 2016, Chatham County, Johnston County, Knightdale, Wake Forest, Fuquay Varina, and Holly Springs had the most new construction in the Triangle region.

However, houses are not being built quick enough. New construction in the Triangle area is approximately at half the rate of the rest of the country. Even though there is a lot of new construction, there are a large number of properties being developed as expensive rental units.

The sales in the region also showed some positive growth. Under Contract sales and Closed sales both increased in 2016. Under Contract sales saw a 9.7 percent increase, while Closed sales saw a 10.1 percent increase. In comparison to 2015, East Durham, Johnston County, Knightdale, Zebulon, Wendell and Durham County saw the most closed sales. Overall in 2016, the Carey, Apex, and Morrisville saw 5,287 homes total in closed sales alone.

Prices

Over the last year, home prices rose. In the Triangle region, Durham, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, Garner, Cary, Apex ,and Morrisville showed the most change in median sales prices in comparison with 2015. The lowest amount of change occured in Raleigh, Hillsborough, Orange County, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. The median sales for 2016 hovered around $232,000 which is a 5.5 percent raise. This is, in fact, a symptom of low home inventory. When the demand outweighs the supply, prices rise. In 2017, there’s an expected home price increase, but it should be at a slower rate than that of 2016.

In 2016, sellers received 97.5 percent of their list price. Sellers in Hillsborough, Durham, and Garner saw the most change in percentage of original listing price received at sale. This is a year over year increase of .9 percent; and good news for sellers.  A predicted increase of price of homes in 2017 will likely encourage an increase in list price received at sale.

Who Will Be Looking to Buy in 2017?

Even though it might seem logical to look at millennials as the next wave of home buyers, there are factors that are contributing to their lack of participation in the housing market of the Triangle area. Some analysis suggests that it’s a bit of a cultural shift for this generation; they’re doing things differently. Many are opting away from early marriage, family life, or they’re making attempts to get rid of student loan debt. Some could be uneasy real estate investment in the wake of the last recession.

Baby boomers will likely make up a major group of home buyers this year. Refocusing investment from the stock market to real estate is an option for this generation in the wake of the election. The new administration creates a period of expected change, and it has encouraged this demographic to look at a higher price-range homes to invest their wealth in.

 

If you are interested in learning about available properties 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.

When buying a home, even new construction, it is important to have a buyer’s agent. At Real Estate Experts, we are fierce representatives for our clients. We’re known as expert buyer agents so contact us and see how we can help you find just the home you are looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allergies or Mold: Find Out If Your Home Secretly Houses Mold

The signs of spring are early, this year. With temperatures soaring high and breaking February records, flowers and plants of all kinds are blooming. The trees are spreading their spores all over, and it’s a matter of time before the Triangle is covered with a green layer of pollen. Though spring in the Triangle is beautiful, spring also means allergy season is right around the corner.  But how can you tell if your allergies are from the outside, or inside of your home?

The symptoms of mold are very similar to allergies. Sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion are all symptoms of both allergies and mold. However, with mold symptoms will get worse over time due to exposure.

Spring NC Mold Prevention

Find out if you are housing mold in your home.

Where Does Mold Develop?

There are many places in a home mold likes to grow in. Mold likes to live in warm, dark, and damp places like basements, crawl spaces and attics. Places which will accumulate moisture are likely environments where mold will breed, such as bathtubs and plumbing appliances. Here are some other places you can find mold developing in a home:

  • Underneath sinks
  • Around pipes
  • Outside around gutters and rainwater management
  • Within walls of bathrooms with poor ventilation

Where Can Mold Hide?

While mold typically develops in areas out of sight in your home, there are other important places to search for mold. Take care to inspect these areas regularly to be sure there’s no mold developing or spreading.

  • Kitchen appliances should be inspected because they generate moisture. Make sure to take a look at your dishwasher, refrigerator, and coffeemaker regularly.
  • Air conditioners and ducts are prime locations for moisture. Poorly draining air conditioners and humidity can lead to mold within your HVAC unit. Mold can spread very quickly from this if moisture gets in the air ducts of your home.
  • Washing machines are another prime source of moisture in your home. The humidity generated by both the washing machine and the dryer can lead to mold lurking nearby. Examine underneath your washing machine for mold, but also check behind the appliance.

I Found Mold, What Next?

Spring Mold Prevention NC

If you find mold in your home, there are several ways to handle the pesky spores. It’s very important to tackle the removal of mold because it spreads so easily, so contacting a mold remediation company is a perfect first step. Mold remediation companies prove to especially effective in eliminating mold, but they can also help you identify the source of the mold. This is useful because you’ll be able to prevent the same problem from happening again.

You can also lower your indoor humidity which takes away one of the biggest factors in mold development. Aim to keep your indoor humidity anywhere below 45 percent. Reducing dampness in bathrooms, basements, and laundry areas will help decrease likelihood of mold in your home.

Let Us Help

As real estate professionals, we deal with issues like this every day.  We are trained to handle issues like mold and know the top mold and water remediation specialists to work with locally.  Don’t hesitate when you are thinking of buying or selling a home this spring and summer to reach out to top realtors to help you through the process.