Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 13, 2020

7 Tips for a Long Distance Move to The Triangle

Planning a move to The Triangle? Whether you are still house-hunting, or have purchased a home and looking to start the moving process, we understand that a long-distance move can be stressful. There are many factors to consider and decisions to be made to get you, your family and belongings there safely.

Don’t let moving stand in your way of starting the next exciting chapter in your life - our team of real estate professionals has put together our list of top tips, when it comes to moving long distance, that will help ensure your move goes smoothly, so that you can start exploring all that The Triangle has to offer. 

1. Create a “Must Keep” List; Purge the Rest

Creating a list always gives a sense of organization and can relieve stress no matter the project. Make a list of your to do’s, along with an inventory of what you want to take to your new home.

Once this is created; get rid of anything you don’t need in your future home. Packing and transporting fewer items will also make moving easier on everyone (as well as more affordable) for you. Do this well before moving day. From extra pots, pans and countertop appliances in the kitchen - to clothes you have not worn for several years, be focused and clear out.

2. Plan Your Moving Date

The prime season for moves typically runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For the widest selection of dates and lowest prices, opt for moving between October and April.

Furthermore, choose mid-month and mid-week times for the easiest, most affordable scheduling. Choosing off-season moves also lets you take advantage of cooler weather if you are moving from or to a hotter climate.

3. Organize & Label While Packing

Put belongings you will need right away when the moving truck arrives in one box, and mark it Day One. This might include pots, pans and linens.

Label boxes by room, and a quick list of what is inside each box. This will allow you to prioritize on the other end, as well as take advantage of having anyone helping unload the truck to put the boxes in the correct rooms in your new home. 

Put your name on all boxes, as it is quite common for long-distance movers to pack their large trucks with multiple clients’ belongings. Side note: do not pack personal hygiene items, pet supplies, important documents or medications - anything you will need before the moving truck arrives, plus these may need to be in a temperature controlled environment. 

4. Avoid Packing Food and Liquids

We’ve seen this too many times. Non-perishable food attracts insects and mice - so, try to avoid this altogether.

As for liquids, they can leak from containers and damage your property. While they can make the trip, if items such as paint cans or cleaning products aren’t properly sealed, they can cause quite the mess, and it may not be worth it in the long run. 

5. Box Your Mattress

We have seen clients wait for their mattresses to arrive so they can finally set up a proper bed only to receive it damaged or tarnished.

Box your mattress to keep it clean and make transportation easier for the moving crews.

6. Clean Outdoor Furniture

If you are bringing outdoor furniture, check every piece for insect larvae. Some states prohibit transporting live organisms across state lines. Clean and disinfect all outdoor items you want to transport.

7. Insure Your Belongings

A lot can happen across the miles - why risk your investments, only to find them damaged when you go to set them up in your new home? It may benefit you in the long run to do a little research on movers insurance, and selecting the best plan for your belongings. 

Smooth Moves to The Triangle

When it comes to buying your new home in The Triangle, the real estate professionals at Chapel Hill Realty Group will make sure your experience goes as smooth and stress-free as possible. From the home-searching process, to moving in - we are there for you every step of the way, as well as offer many resources. 

Call our team at (919) 942-4149, or contact us online to set up an appointment today!

Posted in Market Updates
July 21, 2020

The Lowdown on Reasonable Home Inspection Repairs

There is nothing like finally finding your dream home (especially if you have been house hunting for a while). When it comes to the point of writing an offer - there are just a few things left to check off your list - one major one is the home inspection. 

First, do you have a home inspection contingency written into your offer contract? Most home buyers do, but they may not be sure about what repairs to ask for once the inspection is complete - actually, many buyers feel uncomfortable with the conversation altogether. 

If you have a reputable real estate agent, they can advise you. In fact, this is common practice when it comes to purchasing a home, as it helps alleviate any hard feelings between you, the buyer, and seller.

Our expert realtors have put together these tips that can help you understand what repairs are sensible after a home inspection and what you may want to take care of yourself after closing. Take a look below. 

The Big and In-Between Stuff

The whole point of a home inspection is to look for problems that go below the surface. Professional home inspectors can be extremely thorough to provide buyers with the most information about the property under contract. In fact, some concerns uncovered during inspection may be so hazardous or structurally significant that you may want to withdraw your offer.

When major issues are exposed, you can renegotiate your offer to ask for repairs to correct them or lower your price to make those repairs on your own. These fixes may be worth an ask:

        Termite or wildlife infestation

        High radon gas levels

        Lead paint (in older homes)

        High mold levels

        Well water or septic tank problems

        Aging or damaged roof

        Major structural, electrical, or plumbing troubles

As a rule, anything structural or non-functional related to home systems can be considered a reasonable repair request.

The Small Details

Concerns such as cosmetic issues, normal wear and tear and low-cost repairs that can be simple DIY fixes may not be worth jeopardizing your contract. 

Anything you could see during a home tour may be considered common knowledge at the time you made your offer, such as a scratched hardwood floor or chipped trim paint. Likewise, landscaping or fencing issues should not be demanded, as these upgrades are more of a home improvement project than a repair.

Keep in mind that a home inspector is also thorough to avoid any accusations of negligence or breach of contract. When the inspection report notes any unimportant or miniscule flaws, you should not automatically expect the home seller to be willing to correct every line item. Both the selling and buying agents can attend the home inspection to prevent any surprises and to advocate for their clients.

Whether you are the homeowner or the buyer, trust the guidance of your real estate agent, and ask questions at any time during the property selling process to protect yourself.

The agents at Chapel Hill Realty Group can offer you more advice and help you search for your dream home. Call our team at (919) 942-4149 or visit us online to learn more about our services.



 

Posted in Market Updates
June 17, 2020

Key Home Buying Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

If you have found yourself on the receiving end of trying to buy or sell a home during the coronavirus pandemic, you may have experienced additional pressures and stress as we navigate these challenging times in our economy.

However, while many industries are feeling incredible impacts, home buyers and home sellers have still been active, especially in The Triangle area where the market conditions are still considered to be “Hot”!

In fact, this is a great time to buy a home – so don’t stress when it comes to these Covid-19 times and buying a home. Our team has put together tips on how you can proceed safely in the home buying process during these unprecedented times.

Keep an Eye on Mortgage Rates

In regards to mortgage rates, buyers will need to remain flexible to some degree. The Federal Reserve has already lowered rates twice this year, but the effects are mainly on short-term loans, not mortgages. Usually, the mortgage rate drops when the economy struggles, but since the current situation is changing so fast, mortgage rates may not remain stagnant.

Start the Buying Process Early

Due to the coronavirus, the home buying process is taking longer than usual. For this reason, you may want to get a head start on the entire process. Start working with a lender even before your offer is accepted. Currently, lenders have been overwhelmed with refinancing applications, so you will want to act fast if you want to buy your dream home.

Utilize Virtual Tours

Even before the pandemic, virtual tours have been becoming more and more popular. For starters, they help you rule out any homes you are definitely not interested in – leaving more time to do in-person tours for the ones you do have interest in. So, take advantage of this when you can.

Practice Safe Distancing 

When it comes to meeting your realtor, or others within the home buying industry, limit where you can. Emails, calls and online meetings are more acceptable during these times. However, when you do find you need to meet in person, limit contact and follow some of the basic social distancing practices, like the following: 

      Take a car separate from your realtor when touring homes

      Use sanitizer before and after a tour, or meeting 

      Avoid touching any surfaces during the tour

      Wash your hands after the tour

      Wear face masks

      Bring your own pen, if signing paperwork 

Taking the steps listed above can reduce your risk of catching or transmitting the virus.

Find a Realtor Who Takes the Virus Seriously

Finally, you will want to find a realtor who takes the coronavirus and its threat seriously. The virus can be deadly, so you and your realtor will want to take every precaution possible. Enjoy buying your home, but remember we are in the midst of a pandemic.

Ready to Find Your Dream Home? 

No matter what your comfort level is during these unprecedented times, our expert team of realtors will help you navigate through the home buying process every step of the way. 

If you are ready to start looking for your dream home, call our team at (919) 942-4149 or visit us online to see our listings today!

 

Posted in Market Updates
May 21, 2020

Top 8 Homebuyer FAQs & Answers in 2020

Whether it’s your first time buying a home, or you’ve experienced the process multiple times, there are always questions to be asked along the way.  When you do have a question during the home buying process, it is important to have the right person or team giving you the answers.

Have questions? We have answers. Our team put together a list of questions they get asked frequently, when it comes to purchasing a home - and here are the top eight for 2020. 

1. Is it better to buy or rent?

Right now, renting a home often costs less than buying one. When you dig deeper, however, you’re losing tens of thousands of dollars in equity you could put into your own home. You could then tap into that equity if/when you need it.

2. Is a rent-to-own setup worth it?

These arrangements are much harder to find than just renting or purchasing a home. Even so, if you rent a home you love, you might make an offer to your landlord. Note that these usually benefit landlords more than tenants as the interest rates tend to be high.

3. Should I get pre-approved first?

It’s not necessary to get pre-approved before looking at homes, but it does make the process easier. Realtors have a better idea of what you can afford and sellers take your interest and offer more seriously.

4. Should I buy a new home before or after selling?

This ultimately comes down to your preference, financial situation and creativity. If you can qualify for two mortgages and there are no rental restrictions in your community, then you can purchase a second home and rent out the first one until it sells.

5. Do I really need to work with a Realtor?

You don’t have to have a Realtor, but hiring one is highly recommended. In many instances, buyers use online listings to find a home, but they still rely on Realtors to negotiate and seal the deal. Remember that in most cases, the seller pays the Realtor… so, why not work with a Realtor!?!

6. How do I find out about the neighborhood?

You can start by asking your future neighbors or even contacting the local police department. If you prefer online research, check the local news or turn to apps that track crime in particular areas. You can also find information online about schools, taxes, average bills, etc.

7. How do I make the right offer on a home?

Your Realtor will work with you to determine what offer to make. Generally, you make a lower offer than the selling price. The seller may take several days to respond but rarely rejects an offer - within reason. Instead, they might counter-offer.

8. What are the final steps in buying and closing on a home?

There are many final steps, including inspections, final walk-throughs, submitting financial information to the bank and going through the closing process. Professionals also ensure clean titles and the proper transfer from the seller to you.

We Are HereTo Answer Your Questions 

These FAQs barely scratch the surface of the many questions you might personally have as a buyer. To get more one-on-one advice about home buying in The Triangle area, reach out to Chapel Hill Realty Group online, or call (919) 942-4149 today!

 

Posted in Market Updates
April 27, 2020

5 Things You Can Do Today, To Help You Buy A Home Tomorrow

Buying a home can be a very exciting time in your life, but let’s be honest, it can also be very stressful. There are many factors involved, and some can even prevent you from getting the home of your dreams.

 

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first home or already have the home buying experience under your belt, you can make the process of buying a home easier by doing a few things ahead of time.

 Our team of experienced realtors have compiled their top recommendations on steps you can take now, in order to make your home buying experience easier when you’re ready. 

1. Gather & Organize Appropriate Paperwork

Before you even begin looking for a new home, you should know where you stand financially. 

It is important to know your credit score and if necessary, work on improving it. You may need to tackle any outstanding debts, or pay off credit cards - and this could take some time. 

 Expert Tip: Create a savings account for your down payment, if you haven’t already. You want your financial picture to be ideal before any mortgage company peeks at it.

 2. Set a Budget

Once your finances are organized and in order, you should have a good understanding of what you can afford to buy. A general rule of thumb for home buyers is to set your ideal budget at about three to five times your annual income, and have a down payment ranging from 3.5% for FHA or VA loan, to 20% for more conventional loans.  A 20% down payment will help you avoid the PMI fee (Private Mortgage Insurance) which can be pretty expensive. 

 3. Make a Wish List

When it comes to home buying, it is very helpful to have a wish list created before you start your home search - it could save you enormous amounts of time and stress.

The list should consider everyone in your household (including pets) and your lifestyle wants and needs. Common things to consider include: schools, community, convenience in location, privacy level, rooms, layouts, and turn-key condition... just to name a few. Organize your list from priority/need, to “nice to have”. 

 4. Research Loans 

Not all mortgages are created equal and it’s up to you to discover the best deal. Mortgage companies have options, but if you don’t know to ask about them, you could end up paying more interest than you should. Do your research to uncover better interest rates and lower fees to save money over time.

 5. Find Your Agent

Are you ready for the fun part? Once you find a Real Estate Agent (check out Chapel Hill Realty Group’s top notch Agents) that you trust and feel comfortable with, you can tour the homes that appeal to you until you find The One. Doing research in this area is key. It is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable agent, who can help you navigate each step - from negotiating an offer, to advising you about neighborhoods, appraisals, inspections and can help you navigate through the closing process.


Ready to start searching for a home? Find the latest listings that fit your qualifications in the Research Triangle area, with Chapel Hill Realty Group. Contact us online, or call (919) 942-4149 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced agents who has nothing but your best interest in mind, and will work with you until you find your dream home.

Posted in Market Updates
March 12, 2020

Sell Your House Now: The Art of Home Staging in 8 Easy Steps

There are many key factors that play roles in the success of selling a home. Selling your house can actually be an easy, positive experience for both you and your buyer - as long as you are setting yourself up for success in the right areas.

It is important to give yourself every advantage for a quick sale from the very beginning and home staging is a great place to start for maximum buyer appeal. Statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association show that staged homes sell faster than unstaged homes. In fact, homes that were pre listed staged were sold within 23 days on average, while unstaged homes averaged a whopping 143 days until they were sold. Staged homes also garnered a higher price than unstaged.

Looking at selling your home? Don’t stress - our expert selling team has put together a list of our top tips when it comes to staging your home for sale. 

1. Stage the Important Rooms

The kitchen, living room and master bedroom tend to be the most lived in rooms of a home, therefore the most important when it comes to potential buyers. Focus on these rooms as your top priorities when it comes to your staging efforts and money. 

2. Remove Personal Items

The only way a buyer will purchase a home, is if they truly can envision themselves living in it. Putting your personal items away (such as framed photos, clothing, etc) will help them get there and can help increase opportunities for a sale to happen. 

3. Make Your Space Sparkle

Cleaning your home from top to bottom is critical to attract buyers and achieve a fast sell. A clean home encourages buyer confidence that the sellers maintained and cared for their property. Dirty or unkept spaces can be a quick turn off. 

4. Lighten Up The Space 

Homes with light and bright spaces are more appealing than dark ones. Open drapery and blinds, as well as turn on lighting to create bright rooms and spaces. 

5. Consider Furniture Arrangement

When it comes down to it, you are selling a livable space. Store large, bulky and unnecessary furniture to highlight the roominess of a home. It also allows potential buyers to better picture their own furniture in the home. 

6. Fresh Touches & Smells 

Adding a bowl of green apples or a vase with fresh flowers to a room will create a cheery, healthy ambiance. Or perhaps, consider baking fresh cookies before an open house or tour- the aroma will bring a true sense of “home” to a house. 

7. Fix & Repair

Like cleaning, repairing minor items in the home is important. Touch up small flaws with paint and repair any handles or loose items that buyers may come in contact with.

8. Declutter Your Clutter

A minimalist space is appealing to buyers opening closets and pantries. Be sure to store or toss items that may hinder the visual appeal of your house. The focus should be on the actual house, not your things

Partner With the Experts

Let the professionals at Chapel Hill Realty Group help you sell your home fast! We know all of the different factors that help contribute to selling a home - and quickly. 

 Contact our team online or call us directly at (919) 942-4149 today! 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 12, 2020

Three Things to Consider Before Switching Realtors

Buying a home is one of the most exciting accomplishments you can embark on. Homeownership is a fantastic investment in your financial and personal future, so it’s no wonder that so many people are in the market for a new home. As most of those people will soon learn, though, that searching for a house is often just as stressful as it is exciting.

When it comes to buying a home, you have to contend with other buyers, stay within budget and find a realtor who is willing to advocate for you. The last of these is perhaps the most important, so if you find that your realtor is not as proactive as you’d like, you might wonder whether you can find a new one when you are buying a home.

If you find yourself in the position of wanting to switch to a new realtor, here are 3 key things you should consider if choosing to do so. 

1.The Contractual Agreement You Signed

Most realtors work with buyers when a buyer reaches out to them directly. The relationship is typically mutually agreed upon and carried out during the search for a home with the financial and contractual aspects being finalized at purchase.

This allows you the ability to simply break ties if you need to, but some realtors ask clients to sign a buyer’s broker agreement, in which case switching realtors may be a bit tricky—though still not impossible.

2. Conditions of Cancellation in Contract

If you did sign a broker’s agreement, it will typically include a clause outlining protocol for termination of the relationship between realtor and buyer. Because realtors still make income from commission—not time spent searching for properties, cancelling your contract should not incur a fee.

Read your agreement carefully, to ensure that you meet the conditions it stipulates in order to cancel the contract and move on.

3.Ensure Satisfaction of Termination Conditions

Once you have identified the terms in your contract that allow for termination, it is important that you satisfy them completely. Some contracts allow for cancellation within a specific time period, while others may necessitate specific reasons for cancellation.

If your contract includes the latter, it is important to cordially and specifically communicate the reasons you are ending the professional relationship. A letter or email that can be documented is best, and it is also advisable to obtain the realtor’s signature acknowledging termination of the contract and relationship.

Once you have done this, you are free to partner with another realtor who is better equipped to help you find the home of your dreams.

For experienced and proactive real estate services, trust the professionals at Chapel Hill Realty Group. Call us at (919) 740-0884 or contact us online at chapelhillrealty.com today! 

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 17, 2020

Can You Represent Yourself When Buying a Home?

There are many reasons a person may consider purchasing a home without a Real Estate Agent. One of the most common is the belief of being responsible for paying the Realtor fees. When in fact, it is the seller who pays a commission to the Real Estate Agents. 

Sellers rely on agents to help them ensure you pay top dollar. Hiring your own Real Estate Agent helps to level the playing field for you. In short, you don’t need one, but it may be in your best interest to work with one.

We’ve put together the benefits of having a Realtor on your side to help the decision process easier. 

Potential Risk When Representing Yourself 

Many homeowners successfully represent themselves in sales. People with prior experience in real estate and sales are most likely to have this level of success; though not always. For instance, a Real Estate Agent who specializes in navigating commercial real estate leases on behalf of a business might be out of their depth when it comes to selling houses.

If the seller is dishonest or not forthcoming on issues related to the home, you could leave thousands of dollars on the table and overpay for your home. With the help of their agent, the seller could talk you out of doing your due diligence by wowing you with great cosmetics, using pressure tactics and offering a seemingly great price.

The Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Moving into your new home is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. However, ask any homeowner about the process leading up to that, and they will explain how frustrating it can be. Here’s how real estate agents can help alleviate that. 

Beat the Competition

Homes can sell very quickly - especially in positive economic times and in great locations. When you want to buy in a hot market, Real estate Agents can show you properties before the listing even goes live.

Community Knowledge

Many people believe they know an area well enough to negotiate for themselves because they live nearby. Sometimes just crossing the street in North Carolina can cause you to enter a completely different market. Agents know this and can negotiate more skillfully on your behalf.

Proper Transference

You have probably heard horror stories of homeowners who are about to move into their homes when the real owners or a second set of buyers show up. Real Estate Agents can assist you with completing all the due diligence steps that are in your hands to help prevent this.

At Chapel Hill Realty Group, we have served our community and its residents for more than 65 years. We believe our commitment to our clients has kept us in business for all of these years, and we’re committed to showing you the same level of dedication. Reach out to us for help with buying your next home today. Call our team at (919) 942-4149 or visit www.chapelhillrealtygroup.com today!

 

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 20, 2019

Chapel Hill: Simply the Best College Town in North Carolina

Renowned for its superlative educational institutions and over 170 companies with offices located in the area, The Triangle (comprised of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) is a major place of interest when it comes to looking for a great place to live.

If you are in the market to buy a new home, you may not want the big city environment of the state capital and a commute that goes with it. Chapel Hill, a fantastic college town and known by locals as the “southern part of heaven,” may be more your speed and with good reason

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill makes its home here and so should you, especially if quality of life is what you are looking for.

Higher Learning

Known for its excellent academics, phenomenal basketball program and fantastic art museum, UNC-Chapel Hill is the keystone for the public university system in North Carolina. Of course, the other sides of the Research Triangle feature NC State and Duke University, so you know that this area values a good education. In fact, over 74% of adults in Chapel Hill have a four-year degree or higher.

A Cooler Culture

Not all college towns provide an enriching experience for all of their residents. However, in Chapel Hill, even homeowners can benefit from the academic environment. The creativity spills off campus into the surrounding community, with plenty of live music, great local restaurants and even convenient public transportation - which you may not expect in a town this size. Chapel Hill real estate is in demand because so many people, from students and working families, to retirees, want to immerse themselves in all that Chapel Hill has to offer.

Very Neighborly

Chapel Hill real estate brokers know all about the exceptional variety of neighborhoods, both near UNC and farther away from the center of town. Close to the college are historic areas, including Cameron-McCauley, Franklin-Rosemary and Gimghoul. For a more traditional neighborhood, you may want to visit Westwood or Greenwood.

Chapel Hill also has the exceptional charm, very much like a village - there are local shops, restaurants and schools all within walking distance from most of the homes. Some of the popular developments you may want to consider are Briar Chapel, Meadowmont and Southern Village. Lake Hogan Farms is another neighborhood that features a variety of home styles and amenities.

Time to Go Home

Chapel Hill homes for sale can go quickly, but if you work with Chapel Hill Realty Group, you can find the perfect home for you and your family. Visit us online to see what’s new in the area or to schedule an appointment, call our Chapel Hill Realty experts at (919) 942-4149.

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 25, 2019

Top 5 Tips to Hiring The Best Real Estate Agent In Chapel Hill

Buying a home is a big investment - the biggest in most of our lives. Whether you are buying, selling or both, taking the time to find the right real estate agent will help make your home buying/selling experience better in the long run.

In this article, we’ll go over a few tips you can use to find a qualified real estate agent, when it comes to buying or selling a home in Chapel Hill. 

1. Look For A Realtor, Not Just A Real Estate Agent

All Realtors are real estate agents – but not every real estate agent is a Realtor. To become a Realtor, a real estate agent must join the NAR (National Association of Realtors).

What’s the difference? A Realtor signs the NAR Code of Ethics, pledging to follow a comprehensive list of articles, standards and practices that establish the highest possible level of conduct for real estate agents. At Chapel Hill Realty, all of our real estate agents are Realtors.

2. Get Recommendations From Friends, Family & Colleagues

This is a great place to start if you have a lot of connections in the Chapel Hill area. Chances are that your social network can refer you to some reliable, knowledgeable real estate agents in the area. From there, you can begin narrowing down the list, and choosing the agents you believe will be the best for you.

3. Look At Online Listings, Websites & Reviews

Once you’ve gotten some referrals and recommendations, you can start looking at the online listings, websites and reviews for the Realtor you’re considering. Reading online reviews and checking out the Realtor candidate’s website is a good way to learn more about what they do – and ensure they’re a good fit for your needs.

4. Attend Open Houses To Meet The Real Estate Agent

If you’d like to meet with a real estate agent and learn more about how they work, you can go to an open house they’re hosting. Pay attention to how they behave throughout the open house. Are they polite? Knowledgeable about the home? Informative? Do they know a lot about the local market? Look for an agent who is engaged and willing to talk with you about the home – not one who is either lacking engagement or overbearing. 

5. Schedule Interviews With Your Top Candidates

Once you have a list of a few top candidates, you should schedule a sit-down interview with each one. Take this time to ask any questions you may have about buying or selling a home in Chapel Hill, and develop a better understanding of your candidate’s personality, qualifications and professional demeanor – and you’re sure to choose a qualified real estate agent!

Need Help? Get In Touch With Chapel Hill Realty Group!

At Chapel Hill Realty Group, our experienced Realtors specialize in buying and selling homes in Chapel Hill. Our goal is to provide a level of knowledge, responsiveness and quality service unrivaled in the Chapel Hill, NC market.

Contact us online or call (919) 740-0884 to speak with one of our Realtors and learn more about our qualifications and expertise, so that we may help you find your dream home!

Posted in Market Updates