By Jill Mertens
For many of my buyer clients, walkability is a key criteria in their home search. They want to find a home that will allow them to walk to Downtown Raleigh restaurants, museums, parks and shops.
While there are several condominium complexes in the center of downtown, buyers that want to purchase a single family home will want to focus on one of 5 neighborhood areas nestled around the center city. These neighborhood areas include:
1. Glenwood-Brooklyn (my ‘hood!)
2. Mordecai / Oakwood
3. East Downtown
4. South Park
5. Boylan Heights
If you’d like a tour of these neighborhoods, give me a call or text at (919) 673-9643!
On any given Saturday night, my husband and I might be found in or near any one of the areas checking out new restaurants or visiting one of our favorite haunts. Others may not be inclined to walk quite as far. With this in mind, I have started to create a new video series highlighting some of my favorite restaurants that are situated closest to each neighborhood. The first one is focused on the Glenwood-Brooklyn neighborhood and the Glenwood South restaurant district.
By Hilary Reaves
Condo owners can rejoice, and buyers looking to purchase a condo using an FHA loan can finally explore a few more options in Downtown Raleigh or other area of the Triangle. The new rule allows for several things, but most important in my mind are:
Overall, this is a very positive move that should help condos become attractive options for buyers. The strict limits in the old days of 25-35% investors definitely hurt a few buildings downtown and we witnessed some serious damage to values as a result of sellers "giving away" their homes to cash buyers, who were usually investors, which only made the problem worse. The move to 50% helped back then, and this further expansion will open the door to more buyers.
HUGE DISCLAIMER - financing is already pretty difficult to talk about b/c of how tied it is to your situation and every detail matters. Surely this rule has small print as well, so always check with your lender to see how this rule applies to your situation.
By Jill Mertens
We all know that this is a wonderful place to live- and the rest of the world is certainly catching on. Approximately 63 (net) people move into Wake County every day. I am also starting to see more non- residents come in to invest in residential and commercial real estate in the area. We all see the building going on every day in each of our cities. It is a good thing, too, because we have less than 3 months worth of inventory for sale (and according to the FindWell real estate dictionary, anything less than 6 months of inventory is considered a seller's market). All told, I continue to believe that our investments in local real estate make strong financial sense.
We are beginning to see some signs of slowing, however. It is starting to take a little more time for houses to sell;
- According to Triangle MLS, the YTD average Days On Market (DOM) for Wake County actually increased 20% from 25 in May 2018 to 30 in May 2019.
- The number of crazy multiple offer scenarios also appear to be slowing. Don't get me wrong, good homes priced appropriately and staged to sell are still moving! But things are starting to level out now and we may see prices start to decrease a bit in the coming years.
Because of these factors that we are starting to see emerge in the market, this may be a very good time for you to sell your home if you think you may need to cash in on the equity in your home sometime in the next 2 - 5 years. For this reason, my husband and I recently tore down one of our investment properties and are building a new home to sell early next year. We bought the home as a foreclosure and after holding it for 3 years as a rental, we decided to maximize our profit by acting now before the market softens.
Even though it might be a good time to sell, the challenge is always how to not overpay on the next place as a buyer, since the market is still leaning in the seller’s favor. This is where a professional can help you sort things out and make a plan that takes into account your entire situation. Contact me today if this sounds like the kind of dilemma you are facing.
by Jill Mertens
Every once in a while, I work with buyers that have requirements for their home which are so specific that we just can't find what they want within the existing inventory of available homes - so we change gears and start looking for land and builders. I recently had one such property close with a wonderful client and a great builder so I wanted to share some thoughts. New homes are wonderful because you get to specify exactly what you want. I also love that once your home inspection is complete, we can hand it to the builder with expectation that all items will be addressed. When your home is new, it is as close to perfect as it ever will be!
Of course, there are challenges with building a new home. First, it does not happen overnight so a buyer must be prepared to live somewhere else while the home is under construction. Recent changes in Wake County's permitting process have only added time to the process- but we hope that has begun to stabilize. Finding lots and selecting the right builder is also a project in-and-of-itself (just because a builder has a license does not necessarily mean they are a good fit for you!). Lastly, the selection of colors, appliances, lighting, faucets and other hardware can be exciting to some- but absolutely overwhelming to others.
And then there is price. In most markets, a new home will cost more than a newly renovated one. (Oddly, this was not the case in the downtown Raleigh area until a year or so ago.) Unfortunately, the costs associated with construction have been on a steady rise so home prices will continue to increase. My husband, Paul, who is in the appliance industry, has seen prices jump up to 30% since new tariffs were introduced on imported appliances, hardware, etc. As I am sure you see on the news every day, this situation is in flux and I hope that it will stabilize soon. At the same time, labor costs are also rising dramatically. Builders tell us that immigration issues have exacerbated the labor shortage which has, in turn, further increased costs as well as build timelines. Needless to say, it is a challenge for builders to manage all these variables.
These are strange and exciting times! This is where a well-informed professional can help determine whether it makes sense to buy new, buy existing or buy-and-renovate. Contact me today if you are debating these same options.