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!

June 27, 2022

5 Signs It’s Time to Downsize

For many homeowners, downsizing can offer several key advantages. Here are some reasons why it may make sense to sell a home and move somewhere smaller or more affordable.

1. Local Market Trends

As the character and demographics of locales change over time, property with a modest value can go on to appreciate by double digit percentages. If your local market has seen a higher demand for housing and you have observed that listing prices and closings are much greater than what you are accustomed to seeing, it could be an opportune time to take advantage of the gap up in value.

2. Too Much House

The cost of maintaining a large property can be substantial. Heating and cooling alone can represent a significant part of a household budget. Square footage is typically a big factor for expenses such as property taxes or HOA and condo fees. As family dynamics change, it may make sense for people to change their living situation.

3. Retirement Planning 

A lot of homeowners can find themselves running behind on saving for retirement, after putting a lot of equity in their homes and keeping up with the ongoing increase in the cost of living. Nationwide Real Estate tends to be a fairly safe investment when compared with other types of investing opportunities, but having too much of your total equity in your home could prevent you from generating better returns with your personal net worth. Selling your home to allocate some of your wealth in a diverse portfolio of interests could prove to be advantageous for your financial future and help stay on track to reach your retirement savings goals.

4. Equity Issues

When mortgage payments become burdensome, it is important for homeowners to do everything that they can to avoid a default. Nonpayment can cause them to lose their existing equity in a home. Rather than risking a default or refinancing and widening a debt-to-equity ratio, selling could be the best course of action.

5. Capital Needs Concerns

Needing to take on home repairs that represent a serious financial hardship may make selling your home the right option. A home that needs major improvements will not command as high of a sale value as a home that does not need any work at all. However, a lot of buyers are willing to take on a fixer-upper if it has other desirable features.

Knowledgeable brokers can help homeowners evaluate their options. Contact Chapel Hill Realty Group online, or call (919) 942-4149 today to receive professional insight about listing your home for sale.

 

Posted in Market Updates
May 26, 2022

5 Housing Trends for 2022

The social upheaval of the last few years due to the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the U.S. housing market in a number of ways. Mortgage rates dropped dramatically while home values climbed. After record-breaking home sales in 2020 and 2021, the market is poised to settle a bit in 2022. Here are five predictions of what the next year can hold.

 

1. Rise in Mortgage Rates

Covid knocked mortgage rates into the basement in 2020, with the average 30-year loan rate dropping to a record low of 2.93%. With rising inflation and consumer spending, mortgage rates are rising and expected to continue. At the start of 2022, experts predicted 30-year loan rates would reach 4% by year-end, but the increase has outpaced initial projections and has already topped 5%. However, the housing market is historically very resilient to rate hikes. In the past, housing sales continued strong even with rising mortgage rates.

2. Plateau in Home Values

Home prices rose sharply over the last two years. The median price of houses sold in March 2020 was $280,700. This increased 29% to $362,800 by June 2021. While there is nothing to support the housing bubble bursting at this time, the rapid rise in prices should slow in 2022. Home prices are predicted to rise 2.8% over the next year, which is a significantly lower rise than the increase seen over the last few years. This is good news for buyers, who can look forward to home values within their pay ranges and the prospect of house shopping without bidding wars.

3. Lowered Vigor of iBuyers

The pandemic offered the perfect environment for instant buyers like Offerpad, Opendoor, and Zillow Offers, who routinely paid higher than market price for properties. As the market settles down a bit in 2022, iBuyers will continue pursuing properties, but their offers will be less generous and much closer to market value.

4. Continued Affordability Issues

The National Association of Home Builders reports the median price of all homes sold in the U.S. as $355,000 in mid-2021, up from $320,000 in late 2020. These prices are unaffordable for nearly half of the families earning an average level of income in this country.

5. People Move From Cities To The Suburbs

Ever since the rage of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been migrating from major cities to the suburbs. The largest metro areas such as New York City and San Francisco are expected to recover, however the trend of opting out of big city living is expected to continue for the next 3-5 years. Two reasons for this are necessity and choice; the middle and lower classes are being pushed out of cities due to rising costs and job losses, while the upper class are relocating by choice. The suburbs are also an attractive option due to lower-priced housing and lower taxes. 

 

The housing market has been volatile over the past few years, but 2022 looks toward leveling out. If you are in the market to buy or sell, contact our Chapel Hill Realty Specialists online, or call (919) 942-4149 for assistance in navigating the year’s new trends.

Posted in Market Updates
April 27, 2022

Staging Your Home for Selling Success

Home staging is like a secret weapon when it comes to selling homes, and real estate agents understand that buyers must be able to imagine themselves living in and enjoying a house in order to make an offer. This is an easier task to accomplish with skilled staging. If you don’t have the budget for a professional stager, here are some tips to help you make the most out of a do-it-yourself approach.

Clean

This is arguably the most important part of preparing your home for tours and open houses. You don’t want potential buyers to be thinking about how much cleaning they’ll have to do if they buy your place. Your house should be attractive and inviting. Scrub, dust, wipe and sweep away any mess that could make potential buyers think twice about purchasing your home.

Declutter

In terms of importance when staging, right behind cleaning is decluttering. Too many objects on the kitchen counter will make counter space seem sparse. Clothes and miscellany piled up on beds and other flat surfaces might give the impression there isn’t enough storage space. Overall, clutter scattered throughout your house will detract from the home itself, and potential buyers will have a harder time envisioning themselves living there.

Rearrange

Sometimes the best layout for living in and using a room is not the most visually appealing. When preparing to sell your home, take a step back and look at each room from an aesthetic perspective. Is your living room or bedroom layout functional but unattractive? The goal is not practicality. Instead, think about form over function when staging your home.

You don’t always need to buy new furniture or décor. You can use what you have but in a different way. Try flipping the living room sofa to face the other direction, pulling furniture away from the wall, or rotating chairs around the room until you land on the ideal placement.

Grow

Plants work wonders for the ambiance of any room. Adding greenery to a bookshelf, tabletop, or corner brings visual interest and a homey feeling to the space. Don’t forget to consider your exterior spaces, too. Make sure your front yard is neatly landscaped, as this is the first impression potential buyers will have of your home. A good backyard can be a selling point, so make the most of what your property offers by making it presentable and giving viewers a glimpse at what their life could be like in the home.

Chapel Hill Realty Group knows that successful home staging can make a big difference for both buyers and sellers. Contact us online or call (919) 942-4149 today to find out how we can help you prepare your home.



Posted in Market Updates
March 28, 2022

Consider Suitable Location and Enduring Design When Buying a Home

Purchasing a property can feel both exciting and overwhelming: you'll face major decisions, like the physical location of your home, to minor ones, such as the height of the ceilings in your bedroom or if you need an outdoor pizza kitchen. The property's location should frame your decision, but what about the other details?

Location: The Place To Start

You may already know if you prefer the electric energy of downtown life or the quieter pace of the suburbs. Either way, focus on the land, not just the building. Ask yourself:

  What kinds of businesses or housing are in the immediate area?

  What kind of view do you want from your windows or outdoor spaces?

  Is the area developing at a pace with which you're comfortable?

  Are the local schools highly rated?

A home with outdoor views that bring you joy, whether a city skyline or a row of trees, will afford you, and future buyers, a more pleasant place to live (and possibly work!). You should also assess the effect of nearby land development into neighborhoods or commercial areas on your property's value. Finally, even if you don't have children, excellent local schools ultimately promote a higher return on your investment.

Outdoor Spaces: Growing Together

Families with children or pets value large yards and outdoor amenities, and the recent shift toward remote employment has further increased demand for these options. Wide, flat lawns provide play areas for children and pets, and the capacity for an upgrade such as a swimming pool or a fire pit can add to the lasting appeal of your property.

While a trendy outdoor kitchen with a beer tap and a pizza oven may be tempting, a comfortable patio with cabinetry and a grill constitute more reliable assets.

Design Trends: Standing the Test of Time

High-quality appliances and durable building materials are not a fad: planning for sustainability has become a primary concern for many homeowners. An induction cooktop and renewable energy sources in the HVAC system improve the home's resale value while protecting the environment.

Open-plan home designs have remained popular since the 1950s, as the reduced number of walls and doors lends a sense of space even in smaller homes. Well-placed windows add light and ambiance, and extra nooks can act as work-at-home offices. Since the work-from-home trend is here to stay, these additions will make your new home more pleasant for you and more attractive to future buyers.

Let Chapel Hill Realty Group find you a home that will ensure your happiness for the present and the future. Call (919) 942-4149 today or contact us online to talk to one of our Chapel Hill Real Estate Specialists who will guide you through the entire home buying process.



Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 26, 2022

Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

No matter if you've sold a home before or this is your first time, you deserve to have professional help to get a fair price and sell your property as quickly as possible. You likely have plenty of real estate agent options to choose from, so how do you narrow your choices to find someone you feel comfortable with? Use these tips to keep from feeling overwhelmed. 

Use Search Engines

You cannot go wrong using search engines to look for qualified real estate agents in your area. Because you'll likely have more results than you know what to do with, it's important to have specific parameters. For instance, focus on agents with great customer reviews. You may also prefer an agent with a history of selling properties in your neighborhood.

Have Qualifications To Evaluate Agents By

Once you shorten your list of potential agents, use qualifications to help you make your final decision. Aim for agents who have at least five years of experience in the industry. This gives them enough time to create a network of resources, get used to the local market, perfect their selling strategies and learn how to handle various setbacks.

Another qualification is the number of houses an agent sells. Aim for agents who make at least one sale a week or at least 50 a year. This number shows the agent's commitment to clients and the industry.

Before making a final selection, double-check that the real estate agent has an active license in the state. Online real estate license verification databases and your state's real estate licensing division help with this. While there, do some digging to see if an agent has complaints or suspensions.

Interview a Few Agents

Websites, customer reviews and databases give you a lot of information about local real estate agents, but take it one step further. Once you have a final list of three agents, schedule interviews with them. A brief 15-minute conversation gives you a better feel for how the agent works, the results you may expect and how the two of you get along.

During the interview, let the agent know about the property you want to sell, such as its location, number of bedrooms and special features. Ask how well the agent knows your neighborhood, the number of clients she or he has currently, what makes the agent stand out from the competition and how the agent's fee structure works.

Go With Your Gut

As you explore real agent websites and client testimonials and interview agents, pay attention to how you feel about the agent. If something feels off about someone, keep looking, even if you cannot say why you get a bad feeling.

Your search for a real estate agent begins and ends with Chapel Hill Realty Group. You can be sure you’ll have a good gut feeling about us. 

Whenever you're ready, call our team at (919) 740-0884 or learn more about us

 

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 13, 2022

10 Tips for Buying a Home in a Hot Real Estate Market

 

The real estate market goes up and down due to the economy, interest rates, supply, demand and other financial factors. A buyer’s market is when there are more homes for sale than buyers. Buyers can take their time because supply outweighs demand. On the other hand, when demand for homes is greater than the supply, it’s a seller’s market. Homes sell quickly. Sellers may get several offers on the home, often within a quick time frame. Bidding wars start. In a hot market, buyers have to be more proactive in their search for a home. You’re in a competition with the other buyers.

Make Your Offer Stand Out in a Hot Real Estate Market

To buy a home in a hot market, you need to be organized and prepared. Sellers will have multiple offers and don’t have to wait for you to get your act together. Here are some recommendations.

1. Get your finances in order. Check your credit report. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

2.  Know your wants versus needs. In a limited market, you limit your choices when you have a large list of must-haves. Prioritize your needs to make quick decisions when you finally do find a home that you like.

3. Tell your family and friends that you’re shopping for a new home. The more homes you look at, the more likely you’ll find your home quickly.

4. Work with a full-time real estate agent. You want an agent who has time to help you find a home. Make sure you get an experienced agent who is responsive.

5. Be responsive to your agent. Not only do you want an agent who communicates with you, in a seller’s market, you need to be quick to respond to your agent.

6. Be prepared to make an immediate offer if you’re interested. You’ll need to make a strong offer, so listen to your agent’s advice when it comes to making a bid.

7.  Avoid contingencies. While you shouldn’t skip a home inspection, you may need to limit other contingencies that could impact the seller’s decision. At the very least, shorten the period of time for the contingencies.

8.  Don’t make demands of the seller. You want your offer to be accepted, so be flexible to meet the seller’s needs. In a seller’s market, the seller has the upper hand.

9.  Be ready for a bidding war. Don’t get emotional about a home. Be prepared to negotiate, but don’t forget about your budget.

10. Be patient. In a seller’s market, consider the journey as a marathon, not a sprint. Have a contingency plan if you need to move quickly to avoid acting on impulse.

Buy Your Home in Chapel Hill

Considering buying a home in the Chapel Hill area?  Chapel Hill Realty Group has been doing business for over 65 years and have the knowledge and expertise to help you find your dream home.

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

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 16, 2021

5 Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Real Estate Market

Whether you're sizing up to accommodate a growing family or you've emptied the nest and are ready to go on your own adventures, one thing is certain: you'll need to prepare your home before you put it on the market, especially if you've spent the last couple of decades making it your own. Selling your home shouldn't be a stressful ordeal and choosing the right Chapel Hill Realtor can help make the process go smoother.

1. Work From the Outside In

Curb appeal is important for the real estate market. Consider your lawn, your landscaping, your driveway, and even your mailbox. Simply mowing the lawn is not enough. If old trees dot the landscape, have them removed. Plant shrubs or flowers that are easy to maintain and add visual appeal. Is your driveway old? Have it re-paved to make it more appealing and functional. Even your mailbox matters, so switch out the old, faded, rusted one in favor of something new that matches your home's style. 

2. Get Rid of Clutter

Go through each room of your home to declutter your home, removing anything that isn't necessary. Separate items into those you want to sell or donate and those you'd like to keep and rent a storage facility for the items you want to keep. Find a place for everything that you do leave in the home. The neater and more organized your place looks in the pictures, the more likely it is that you'll have interested buyers.

3. Clean and Then Clean Again

Basic sweeping and mopping are important, of course, but they are just the beginning. When was the last time you scrubbed the grout in the bathroom or washed the windows in the bedrooms? Are ceiling fans or light fixtures crusted in dust? Clean along baseboards, in often-ignored corners, and everywhere else you can think of. Consider odors as well. If you have pets in the home, if someone smokes, or if you use a lot of pungent foods and spices when cooking, you'll likely need to do odor control before hosting an open house. 

4. Focus on Things Behind the Scenes

The better repair your home is in, the more money you can request when trying to sell it. Focus on both the inside and outside of your home. Repair broken gutters and shutters, ensure all your light fixtures and ceiling fans work as they should, make sure that every step is safe and secure, and more. Consider the major appliances as well. How old is the HVAC unit? What about the water heater? If you're including kitchen appliances, updating them may be necessary as well. Remember, you'll have inspectors coming through your home, too, so be sure to focus on the things they will notice as well. 

5. Keep Things Neutral

Just like clutter, unique color schemes can also make it hard for potential buyers to picture themselves in your home. That bright blue kitchen may be the love of your life, but a neutral shade is more likely to appeal to new homeowners. Consider your furniture as well, switching out ultra-unique sofas or desks in favor of toned-down themes. Avoid patterns on anything and instead stick to shades of white, tan, or light gray.

Don't feel you need to go it alone when you're ready to put your home on the market. Contact the realty experts at Chapel Hill Realty Group to help you prepare your house and sell it for the best price possible. 

 

Call our team at (919) 740-0884 today!

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 2, 2021

4 Home Pricing Secrets Designed To Sell Your Home Quickly

The first crucial step of any home sale is determining the right listing price.

Too low of a price, and you make a smaller profit than you deserve, and potential buyers may wonder what's wrong with your property. On the other hand, listing it too high can leave your home on the market for months with no offers. Not sure where to begin? No worries.

Our team of home selling specialists are here for you! To help you make the best decision, here are four of our secrets for home pricing - designed to get your home sold quickly.

1. Hire a Local Realtor

You need to bring in professional assistance to price your home right. An experienced realtor knows the current conditions of the local market and the buying trends in your neighborhood.

First, your agent will do a Comparative Market Analysis on your property by looking at the recent sales activity of similar homes in your area. Then, your realtor will tour your home to assess its condition and to take note of any improvements you have made to the property.

 Finally, the agent uses all this data to determine a recommended listing price.

2. Look for an Open Price Point

Research the listing prices of open homes to look for a price point no one else is using so your property will stand out from the others. For example, if all the comparable homes are priced at $249,999 or $269,999, list your home for an uncrowded $259,999.

3. Set Your Emotions Aside

You probably love your home and have taken great care to maintain and upgrade it during your time living there. Those emotions tend to make you want to overvalue your house. It's best to set your feelings aside and walk through your home with your realtor to objectively look at it from a buyer's perspective to determine a realistic sales price.

4. Adjust the Price as Needed

The real estate market goes up and down and frequently changes. There's no way to know for sure what the market conditions will be after your listing is active. If your property doesn't get any reasonable offers within the first month, consult with your realtor to determine the cause. Don't be ashamed to lower the price to fix the problem.

Following these four secrets of home pricing helps you list it at the right amount so it sells quickly. This calculated approach should also get you top dollar for your property.

Sell Your Home With The Best Chapel Hill Team

If you’re looking to sell your home, the team at Chapel Hill Realty Group has the expertise you need to make effective decisions, along with marketing programs that will give you the exposure and edge to get the best price for your home. 

Call us at (919) 942-4149 or contact us online to get started today!

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 6, 2021

The Truth About Curb Appeal

Curb appeal may sound like a real estate buzzword, but it’s so much more than that. What is the first thing that buyers notice about a house when they are looking? That’s right: the exterior of your home.

Curb appeal refers to that first impression your home makes and you want it to be a good one. Here are our top tips and tricks from our home selling experts for improving your home’s curb appeal, to improve your selling chances.

Why Curb Appeal Matters

Think of the houses around Chapel Hill with Southern charm and character that stand out to you without ever stepping a foot indoors. Even if the interior of your home is in perfect condition, you may not get as much attention as you would like if your exterior does not present well. 

Appearance does make a difference when it comes to buying and selling real estate. The last thing you want when selling your home is for buyers to overlook it because the garage door needs to be replaced, an awning is loose or the lawn needs to be mowed.

Where To Focus Your Efforts

You probably look at your home almost every time you pull into the driveway, but how often do you really look at it? Do it from the perspective of a buyer and see what you notice. One thing’s for sure - buyers don’t miss a thing, which is why you should turn a critical eye to your home’s exterior. Here are some common areas that buyers may notice first, and a good place to start when looking at your home: 

Roofing

How old is your roof? Does it look like it needs to be replaced? Are there piles of leaves overflowing the gutters?

At the least, get your roof inspected and make any necessary repairs. Also, get those gutters cleaned!

Entryway

Is your front door welcoming? Perhaps it could use a fresh coat of paint or stain. Consider other touches, such as improved lighting, a new doormat and other accents that make your home look inviting. Keep it simple, though; too many outdoor decorations may have the opposite effect.

Yard and Landscaping

A well-maintained property reflects the care you have for your home. Have your lawn trimmed and edged, and prune any overgrown trees or bushes.

And don’t underestimate the selling power of fresh mulch! 

Brick or Siding

Does your home need a good cleaning? Break out the power washer to clean dirt and mold off your home’s exterior. While you’re at it, clean your windows, garage doors and driveway; they probably need it too.

Buy And Sell with Chapel Hill’s Best Realtors 

At Chapel Hill Realty Group, we have been listing and selling homes on behalf of our clients for more than 65 years. Contact our team online, or call us directly at (919) 942-4149 today! 

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 2, 2021

5 Tips For Purchasing a New Home in a Hot Seller's Market

Buying a home is a dream for countless Americans. Owning your own home allows you to build equity in a property, support your family and potentially pass on wealth to subsequent generations.

But buying a home can be tough — and particularly in a seller's market, like the current one, where there are simply more prospective buyers than homes available.

Knowing how to effectively navigate a seller's market can make all the difference in ensuring that you're successful in your home-buying attempt. Not quite sure how to do that? No problem. Our team of Chapel Hill real estate experts have put together our top 5 tips for navigating this seller’s market for you, the buyer

1. Obtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval

Unless you can afford to pay cash, being pre-approved for a mortgage prior to delving into the home search process is essential. This is particularly true in a seller's market, in which you are unlikely to be taken seriously without proof that you can purchase a given home — and in an environment in which you will probably have to act quickly once you find the right property. 

2. Work With An Experienced Real Estate Agent

Working with an experienced realtor who understands your needs and advocates on your behalf can be essential in helping you find the right property. A great realtor will be highly informed on current market conditions, and persistently aware of new properties coming to market. He or she will also have a strong working knowledge of recent home sales prices, and can offer invaluable advice, particularly for first-time buyers.

3. Broaden Your Search

You may have your heart set on a particular town or neighborhood, and that's a great place to start. However, expanding out from your starting location — and considering nearby areas — may dramatically broaden your chance of finding the right home. You may be pleasantly surprised by what turns up, and having a slightly wider net can be essential in ensuring you find the right place for you, in a great location

4. Look For Homes Under Your Budget For Bid Up Room

A good strategy in any market is to look for homes that aren’t at the top of your spending budget. This allows wiggle room for bidding up, as well as a bonus fund for any remodeling or renovation projects you may want to tackle right away to truly make the home how you want it. 

5. Consider "Contingencies" To Woo the Seller

In a true seller's market, individuals selling a home may simply have their pick when it comes to the buyer. Offering "perks" may help demonstrate your appeal to potential sellers. This may include offering a short window for closing, or even waiving some (or all) contingencies. You should always be careful when making concessions, however, so as not to over-stress yourself. But don't forget that small amendments can make a big difference to a seller.

Find Your Perfect Home

Chapel Hill Realty Group has a wealth of experience in connecting buyers with their forever homes - and especially in a seller’s market. Our team is committed to assisting you through the process of researching, selecting and most importantly, closing on the purchase of your home. 

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

 

Posted in Market Updates