Kristin and I are very demanding of our home sellers before it hits the market. We have them clear the clutter and organize their closets and cabinets. I wish I had the discipline to do this in my own house, but I never seem to find the time. This is one of the best blogs on how to organize and de-clutter that I have read. I am so inspired that I am going to take the rest of the afternoon off and get started on clearing the clutter in my own house.
Do you like to cook but are frustrated by the small kitchens and electric ranges? Are you seeking a basement entertainment area that includes a bar? Want a neighborhood with a golf and tennis option? Look no farther, your house is ready and waiting! This lovely traditional home is located at 10317 Whitethorn Drive, in the Raintree neighborhood, which offers golf and tennis memberships in a great facility. The membership fee is waived for homeowners but there are monthly fees. Check out this link for more information on the club.
So many homes in this price range have small kitchens with inexpensive electric ranges. Not this house. The current owners love to cook and have the kitchen to prove it. After enjoying a wonderful meal, often eaten on the screened porch overlooking the wooded, private backyard, it’s time to welcome the neighbors over to hang out in the basement and jam with the band. Music not your thing? That’s OK, this basement offers many possibilities. The master bath has been redone, and the master bedroom is huge, with a large seating area, or space that could very easily be re-purposed into an enormous master closet by adding a wall. Not that the existing master bedroom closet is small, but you can never have too much closet space!
Not everyone wants to spend part of a Monday in an attorney’s office, but in the real estate world it’s a great day! This week started off with the closing of one of our listings, a wonderful young couple off to pursue their dreams at the beach. I had helped them find their home in Charlotte less than two years ago, and while they loved their house and neighborhood, a business opportunity at the beach was too enticing to pass up. It would normally be very difficult to sell your home after less than two years to cover the cost of selling, but this couple covered their costs and more. How did they manage that? A lot of sweat equity and some smart renovations.
Their house had great bones when they bought it, but needed some updating. Vintage 80’s wallpaper covered the walls in many of the rooms. Removing the wallpaper, scraping the popcorn ceilings, and painting took lots of time and elbow grease, but just look at the result. The master bathroom was original 80’s as well, and the new owners wisely decided a renovation was in order. Just look at the result. Doing the updating, making a smart bathroom renovation without over-improving, were exactly what this couple needed to do to put themselves in a great position to sell their home in a very short amount of time for a great price. They were also smart enough to hire us to list it, knowing that we use a professional photographer for every listing, offer staging advice, and use multiple methods to market their home. They were under contract in one day with multiple offers. If you are thinking of selling your home contact us to discuss how to get the maximum possible price for your home.
It’s no secret that the two most critical rooms in a house when trying to sell it are the kitchen and the master bathroom. Buyers will overlook many flaws in a house if it has an updated, functional kitchen and a spacious master bath. We are currently working with a seller on prepping their home for the market and while looking for ideas for the master bath I came across the following from Houzz. Disclaimer: I am a huge Game of Thrones fan and this post is for my fellow fans.
One of the really fun aspects of being a real estate agent is getting to tour so many different homes. Opening the front door to a home is a bit like unwrapping a package, sometimes you have an idea of what is inside, and at other times it is a complete surprise. Online photos can give prospective buyers and their agents a preview of the interior, but photos don’t tell the whole story. You really can’t get a feel for a home until you go inside. Most agents will tell you that homes give off a certain vibe. Many houses feel welcoming the minute you walk in the front door. Others seem a bit stiff, with not a lot of happy memories, some seem sad and neglected, and a few are downright scary. Maybe it’s the decor, perhaps it’s the staging, but there is definitely something intangible that creates those feelings when you walk into a home for the first time. I can usually tell when my buyer clients have found the right home even before they decide to make an offer. They walk in the front door and it feels like home. When you find that special house, the one that makes you happy and feels right, make the offer.
Spring in Charlotte is a beautiful time of year. The trees are budding, flowers blooming, grass is green, and the weather is generally spectacular. It is also the busiest time of year in real estate. I am generally so busy that I don’t have time to go through my closet and switch out my heavy winter clothes for lightweight spring ones. Instead I pull everything out piecemeal and soon I have a real mess on my hands. I tried to attack my closet this weekend but quickly became overwhelmed. For years I have been talking about coming up with a plan to organize my closet. I have all the contacts I need, whether I want to plan it myself and hire a handyman for the install, or if I want a turn key operation. After reading this great blog post on Houzz on custom closet design I am going to put my money where my mouth is and do it!
The real estate market in Charlotte is extremely hot right now. The median Days on Market for the areas in which we work, the Ballantyne and Arboreteum areas, is 16 days. So why do some homes sit on the market, while their competition is consumed by a feeding frenzy of competing buyers? It all starts with hiring the right real estate agent to list your home.What is the best strategy in finding a great listing agent? It’s not necessarily the one with the most listings. A great real estate agent should have their listings under contract somewhere around the median for the price range and location. Ask to see some of the agents listing photos. Do they use a professional photographer on all their listings?
Does the real estate agent know the area? Have they toured the competition? Will they be able to assist you in setting a price that will get you maximum exposure to buyers and reasonable offers? A smart real estate agent does all these things. But the number one quality in a real estate agent is one that will be honest with you about your home and its potential on the market. Many sellers love their home. It may be their first home that they put a lot of sweat equity into, or where they raised their kids, or where they spent the last days with a departed partner or spouse. While this is generally very emotional for the seller, a potential buyer attaches no sentimental value to your home. Buyers willing to pay top dollar are looking for an updated, move-in ready home. You need a real estate agent who will be honest with you about your home’s potential and what needs to be done to prepare your home for the market. If a real estate agent is only telling you what you want to hear then they are probably not being as honest with you as is necessary to get your home sold for top dollar. Interview agents until you find the one that is honest and willing to put themselves out there for you. We hope that agent is us.
You wake up to the sound of birds chirping. The sun is just coming over the horizon. It’s a beautiful spring morning. You throw on your sweats, head out down the street and take your morning walk on the scenic Four Mile Creek Greenway. Afterwards you sit outside with your morning coffee on your screened porch overlooking your wooded back yard. Of course the screened porch and large deck aren’t the only things you love about your home, you pretty much love everything about it. The cozy den and kitchen with stainless steel apliances… The bright and cheerful living and dining rooms perfect for entertaining… At the end of the day you head up to your large master bedroom with updated bath. Want the details? Listed at $295,000 this home is approximately 2057 heated square feet, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The fourth bedroom makes a great bonus room as well. Don’t let this one slip away! Contact us today to schedule a showing.
Last week U.S. News and World Report ranked Charlotte #15 on its annual Best Places to Live list. This came as no surprise for those of us lucky enough to call Charlotte home. We relocated here almost 30 years ago and never left. Charlotte has a small town quality with big city amenities. For those that like to watch sports you have the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers, the NBA Charlotte Hornets, the AAA baseball Charlotte Knights, the Charlotte Hounds Men’s Lacrosse, the Charlotte Eagles Soccer, NASCAR, and other exciting sporting events. Many of those teams have venues uptown, which is a great place to go for any occasion.If playing sports is your thing, the opportunities are endless. There are many wonderful public and private golf courses in the area and golf can be played year-round here. Tennis is a big sport as well, with a variety of tennis leagues and public courts available. For kids there are parks, ball fields, and neighborhood pools are very common. Charlotte is not just a sports town, cultural opportunities abound. Exploring the Bechtler Musem of Modern Art, the Mint Musem, the Levine Museum of the New South is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Dance, theater, opera, symphony, Charlotte has it all. After you’ve been to the Panthers, attended a play, explored a museum, walked in the park, top off the day with a wonderful meal at one of Charlotte’s many fine restaurants. Or maybe hit one of the local brewers. Charlotte has it all,once you are here, you won’t want to leave.
A quick drive around town will confirm the fact that the Charlotte metro area is one of America’s 20 fastest growing cities. These days it seems as if every vacant piece of land is being developed. With all the new apartments are being built in Charlotte you would think that it would be easy to find a nice home or apartment to rent at a reasonable price. However that is not the case. Rents are high and getting higher, with a 5.7% increase over January of 2015 according to Zillow. Many property managers report that they are receiving multiple applications as soon as properties are put on the market. Most apartment complexes are using market based pricing, where the monthly rent quoted is only good for 24-48 hours. My son is paying way more rent for his small two bedroom apartment in South End then I am paying for my mortgage on a large four bedroom house. I work with many first-time home buyers and they always are amazed at how much less they will pay monthly on their mortgage compared to what they were paying for rent. Why make your landlord rich when you can build equity in your own home? Interest rates are low and there are many programs available for first time home buyers that do not require the traditional 20% down-payment. There are many great rent vs buy calculators on the web, and a good mortgage planner in conjunction with a good Realtor® can help you achieve the American dream of home ownership. Don’t be afraid the reach out for advice. I generally spend 6 months to a year working with my first time buyers, working with a lender to make sure they are on a solid footing financially and helping them find the right home. Have a question? Contact us for more information.