Top 12 Realtors in Charlotte, NC

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Buying and selling real estate can be nerve wracking and more than a little overwhelming. Working with the right agent can make all the difference in not only how much money you make or save, but top realtors in Charlotte can also take the stress out of the process.

So much of negotiation and outcomes in real estate hinge on the ability of a real estate agent to know the market and work effectively with the other players. Hustle, drive, personability, and quick thinking are essential for success in the competitive market of the Charlotte metropolitan area.

Finding the right real estate agent is a central part of either buying or selling your property in North Carolina. The right real estate agent will not only help you to get through the process, but they’ll also be a sounding board for your ability to understand everything that’s going on in a real estate transaction.

What’s special about the Charlotte real estate market?

Charlotte, NC is a major metropolitan area that is home to an ever-increasing population. In the last several years, this city has exploded with a huge amount of growth both in the housing sector and in the job market.

Why are people so interested in living in Charlotte? North and South Carolina are both home to beautiful places and a mild climate. Charlotte, NC is situated close to the mountains and close to the ocean, making vacationing easy when you live and work in the city.

Carolina real estate experts are aware of the draws to this area, and they also know that the real estate market is white hot right now. A great real estate agent will not only know the area, but they’ll be able to use their negotiation skills to get you the right price for a home in North Carolina that works for your needs.

How many real estate agents are there in Charlotte?

House with solar for sale by a real estate agent in Charlotte, NC

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No matter where you are interested in living in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll need a real estate agent who can deliver. The good news is that you’ve got lots of top seller’s agents and more than a few buyer’s agents to help you in your search.

Charlotte has almost eight thousand licensed real estate agents who are active in the current market. It’s the largest metropolitan area in North Carolina, and this has led a lot of real estate experts to come to this area to sell property and help people buy property.

The top realtors in Charlotte know how to get the best outcomes for their clients, and they’re constantly working on making the home buying process in North Carolina easier for everyone.

What are the prices for top real estate agents in Charlotte?

Looking at real estate transaction data analysis that’s published and public knowledge, we know that the top five percent of seller’s agents in the area get over $45,000 more per home for a Charlotte property than the average sale. That’s a huge number and represents a significant benefit for hiring a Charlotte real estate agent.

It’s not just sellers whose real estate needs are met with these top real estate agents in Charlotte. The top five percent of buyer’s agents in Charlotte, NC according to that same data are able to save their clients .08% more than the average agent in the area.

Working with a top real estate agent in Charlotte is a sure fire way to get more out of properties than by going it alone or working with an agent who isn’t in that upper echelon. The expertise that Charlotte real estate agents bring to their transactions are an important part of making any real estate transaction successful, whether it’s from a large developer or with a first time home buyer.

The competitive nature of the Charlotte real estate market makes it important for homebuyers and sellers to choose the right real estate agent, because it can make all the difference in getting the right price or the perfect home.

Understanding the Charlotte, NC real estate market

Older home for sale by real estate agents in Charlotte, NC

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When looking for the right real estate agents in Charlotte, it’s important to have a solid foundation of what the market is like. Though this is a booming southern city, it’s also a center of culture and education.

Charlotte is made up of a wide variety of boroughs. These include places like NoDa, Uptown, Dilworth, Midtown, and Center City. Reaching a little further out of town, there are lots of suburbs around town that are also popular for both old residents and those relocating to the Charlotte area. These include places like Indian Trail, Mint Hill, Huntersville, Matthews, and South Hill in South Carolina.

There is an eclectic mix of possibilities for anyone interested in living in the Charlotte, NC area. Top real estate agents in Charlotte should be familiar with all the city has to offer, including which areas might be better suited for a family interested in purchasing a home. Often, a great real estate agent will be able to point you in the direction of a fantastic area that you might not even be aware of.

Charlotte by the numbers

The metropolitan area of Charlotte, has a population of roughly eight hundred thousand and is seated on about three hundred square miles.

Over half of the households in the city of Charlotte are made of up families, which makes it a family friendly city. The central downtown area is home to a professional football stadium and a professional basketball arena, as well as numerous music venues and theaters.

Most people in Charlotte commute less than half an hour to work. Of the roughly three hundred thousand households in Charlotte, roughly half are occupied by renters and the other half are occupied by homeowners. 67% of the population is under the age of 45.

As for the real estate market in Charlotte, it’s been going up dramatically in the last two years like the rest of the country. The average home in Charlotte stays on the market for just over a hundred days.

Top real estate agents in Charlotte

Charlotte real estate agents might be plentiful, but they are not all created equal. Working with the perfect real estate agent will help you to navigate the real estate industry.

Thes top twelve Carolina real estate experts are both knowledgeable and dependable. Top agents in Charlotte will help you to navigate the real estate process, whether they’re working as buyer’s agents or seller’s agents.

Here are a dozen top agents that will help you in your search for the perfect real estate agent in Charlotte.

1 – Rita Goforth


A 2018 graduate of the Superior School of Real Estate, Rita has a history of helping clients find the home that is not only the best fit for their needs, but also that fits into their budget.

Building her business on referrals, Rita brings a wealth of market knowledge to all of her transactions. Through her work over the last several years in the Charlotte area, Rita has built a strong network of connections with top real estate agents in and around Charlotte, enabling her to easily negotiate on behalf of her clients. She has a deep well of negotiation skills that allows her to get the best possible outcome for her clients. Rita is also the youngest person to win the rookie of the year award in the Charlotte metro area, surpassing the previous age record by over a decade.

From the very beginning of each client relationship, Rita brings a personal touch and a special dedication to her clients. The depth of her market knowledge is beneficial to both buyers and sellers, as well as to investors. In fact, Rita herself is a real estate investor. She has a successful track record of building a client base that’s advantageous for buyers who want to take their business to the next level.

Just this past spring, Rita was named one of the rising stars in real estate by Charlotte Top Producers. As a Keller Williams Realty affiliate, Rita has a bright and bold outlook on real estate. Her energy and expert support are incredible benefits for anyone who is moving to Charlotte from out of state or for local Charlotte residents who want to find their dream home right in the area.

2 – Brian Belcher

Brian Belcher, Charlotte, NC Real Estate Team Member/Associate - RE/MAX  Executive

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Ranked as one of the top 100 real estate agents in the country, Brian brings a seriousness and a service to his real estate practice. As one of the top performing agents in the country, he’s won numerous awards for this work and is highly regarded in the field.

What sets him apart is not just his experience, but also his attention to detail. Brian makes every person in a transaction feel like they’re important and that their point of view is valuable. This is why the selling process that he brings to buyers and sellers has such positive reviews.

His office has locations in Fort Mill, Mooresville, Indian Land, Concord, Ballantyne, Cornelius, South Park, and Waxhaw. Not only is he great with clients, but he’s also a top negotiator. Brian is the perfect agent for home sellers who want a realty group that is both experienced and deeply committed to the outcome of each real estate transaction.

3 – Kim Trouten

Kim Trouten top real estate agent Charlotte

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Leading the top ranked real estate team in Charlotte, Kim Trouten has brought her team to the cream of the crop in the United States in real estate – the top one percent. This award winning group of real estate professionals have gotten here through hard work and through incredible client service.

The concierge-style real estate service offered by Kim’s team is focused on South Charlotte and the northern part of South Carolina along the border. She has a wealth of experience in land development, architectural planning, construction, and interior design. With a high level of expertise in high end real estate, Kim’s team is known throughout the region for its real estate industry experience and its positive reviews.

Working closely with online marketing, social media, and networking, Kim is savvy and dedicated in providing the best possible services for both buyers and sellers. She and her husband live in an historic home in Dilworth that they rebuilt, bringing her experience to bear for her own home. Her longtime experience in Charlotte means that she knows the area and is invested in the people she works with.

4 – Eric Maynard

Besecker & Maynard Group

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Working with his longtime real estate partner, Monica Besecker, Eric Maynard is part of one of the most successful real estate teams in the greater Charlotte metropolitan area.

The winner of the Rookie of the Year Award when he entered Charlotte real estate, Eric is known for using technology to help leverage the real estate potential for his client. From virtual open houses to robust online sales tools, Eric is a great agent for anyone who wants not only potential buyers to know about their homes, but also for a smooth transition from listing to closing.

His team was listed as the #1 Group Sales Team and the #1 Listing Agent in Charlotte, he has a long history of being a guide for both first time home buyers and luxury sellers. The strong mix of marketing techniques and negotiation skills that Eric brings to bear for his clients is the reason he’s gotten positive reviews and that his combined sales in the calendar year were nearly one hundred million dollars.

5 – Minnie High

Minnie High, real estate agent in Charlotte

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Minnie High is one of the top buyer’s agents in Charlotte, NC, working with clients and property owners to get the best possible outcome for their real estate transactions. In her former career, she was a social worker and educator. Now, Minnie brings all of that compassion and expertise to be the best agent possible.

The first priority in all of her client interactions isn’t less about the median listing price and more about giving buyers and sellers the best and most competent experience she possibly can.

Her work as a RE/MAX agent has allowed her to help buyers and sellers across Charlotte and the northern part of South Carolina. She is particularly passionate about helping veterans find homes, and Minnie is a Certified International Property Specialist.

6 – Ginny Baker

Profile photo of Ginny Baker, Real estate agent in Charlotte, NC

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Ginny Baker is one of the top ranked real estate agents in Charlotte with good reason. Not only is she one of the top performing agents in the city, but she’s also received positive reviews from long term and repeat clients. For her, it’s not just about the money – it’s about the time she puts in and the relationships she builds with her clients.

For her, understanding the emotional as well as the economic dimensions of the real estate transaction is essential to being successful. She views her clients as people first, and homeowners second. This approach makes her the best agent for both first time homebuyers and for families interested in relocating to Charlotte.

Her expertise extends beyond just the Charlotte, NC area. Having lived in five different states, Ginny has roots all over the country. This means she can connect home buyers with other professionals wherever they might be relocating to.

With more than fifteen years of experience as a Charlotte real estate agent, Ginny is adept at supporting families and individuals throughout the real estate process. For this reason, she’s a top agent and has a huge number of repeat clients and referrals.

7 – Evelyn McCorkle

Top agent in Charlotte, NC

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A Charlotte native, Evelyn McCorkle is a member of Helen Adams Realty who has been working with clients for over 20 years as a trusted real estate agent and top agent in the area. Past clients consistently refer new buyers and sellers to Evelyn, who has a reputation for being both compassionate towards her clients and also being a hard negotiator who gets the job done.

The personal touch and dedication that Evelyn brings to all of her work carries through from the initial listing to the closing table. She’s a top agent who is also invested in the community that she lives and works in, providing resources for her clients that go above and beyond the normal real estate transaction.

Evelyn has particular experience supporting buyers who need to find a lender to work with. She’s a top agent for home buyers who need to learn the process, but she’s also adept at helping experienced sellers who are ready to downsize or relocate.

8 – Timothy Rohan

Tim Rohan, top agent in Charlotte, NC

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Leader of the Rohan Group, Tim Rohan is a longtime top agent in the Charlotte area who has a special expertise in helping homeowners who have a high median listing price for their property. He’s a top buyer’s agent in the Charlotte area, primarily specializing in single family homes.

Most often, Tim represents the seller in transactions, but he does work with buyers as well. Tim has the most sales experience as a seller’s agent. He’s in the top six percent of agents in Charlotte, closing over a hundred more homes in the last year than the average agent in the Charlotte area.

9 – Kate Terrigno

Kate Terrigno, top real estate agent in Charlotte, NC

Kate is a former broadcast journalist who turned her attention to real estate as a way to have hands-on experience in a fulfilling career.

With a wealth of experience in both buying and selling, Kate is known in the area for being a driver agent who is willing to go the extra mile to do the right thing for her clients. In her years in Charlotte, Kate has consistently been one of the top producing agents. Working with both buyers and sellers, Kate is a fierce negotiator and a passionate advocate for her clients.

10 – Kristi Vernon

Vernon Realty Group, 13620 Reese Blvd. East, Suite 130, Huntersville, NC  28078, USA

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The founder of Vernon Realty Group, Kate Vernon is an experienced and passionate realtor who has a reputation for being hard working and honest. Clients routinely refer friends and family to this Keller Williams Realty team.

This dynamic and powerful team of realtors has worked with all kinds of transactions. This includes investors, high end homes, fixer-uppers, historic homes, new construction, empty nesters, new families, those relocating to Charlotte from other places, and so much more.

This team follows the most recent real estate and home buying practices, learning from agents and constantly developing their team at Keller Williams Realty. Extending online practices and enabling buyers and sellers to understand the process as much as possible, this team is ready to take on any challenge in the Charlotte real estate market. this is why they’re consistently named as a top team of real estate professionals in the Charlotte and surrounding areas.

Recent transactions for this Keller Williams Realty team range from high end homes to starter homes, with list price points to match. They’re agents with passion and dedication, and it shows in the way that their clients review their work.

11 – Melissa Brown

Melissa Brown top real estate agent in charlotte

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Very few real estate agents in Charlotte can match the enthusiasm and the expertise of Melissa Brown. Her excitement about people living and working in the Charlotte area is infectious, and her willingness to go the extra mile for her clients is unmatched.

She works hard to make sure that the real estate journey is tailored to each individual client, supporting them in everything from listing to staging to closing. Not only does she offer support for luxury homes and listing, but Melissa also works with first time homebuyers across the Charlotte area.

With almost fifteen years of experience, Melissa has a proven track record of helping real estate clients get the most out of their listings. Her highly personalized approach is a breath of fresh air among real estate agents. No matter the list price of a home, Melissa is there to support buyers and sellers throughout the transaction process.

As a member of the Helen Adams Realty Group, Melissa is supported by a strong group of real estate professionals in the Charlotte area.

The positive reviews of Melissa praise her support of clients who are relocating Charlotte from other areas, and she provides care and comfort throughout the real estate process.

12 – Dan Jones

Carolina Real Estate Experts

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Dan Jones serves Charlotte and the surrounding areas as one of the top real estate agents in this part of North Carolina. Over the last decade, he’s risen to be one of the top two percent of agents in Charlotte, selling homes fast and with a good deal of customer service delivered one each transaction.

Working through thousands of transactions across Kannapolis, Mooreseville, Concord, Mint Hill, Huntersville, and downtown Charlotte, Dan works with a top notch team. Roughly two thirds of his business has been representing sellers, with one third of his work having been as a buyer’s agent.

One of the strengths of Dan’s work is that he looks at objective performance data to support home sellers getting more money for each of their transactions. Using established systems, Dan and his team make light work of real estate transactions. The entire process with Dan and his team offers sellers and buyers a straightforward method to get real estate in North Carolina bought and sold.

Choosing the right Charlotte, NC real estate agent for you

Pool at a house for sale near Charlotte, NC

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Whether the North Carolina real estate agent you choose to work with is a long term agent who has worked with an agency like Keller Williams or RE/MAX, or if they are a newer real estate agent who is just getting started in their own independent realty group and are not a member of a national association, you should feel confident in finding your home with the support of an expert.

The entire process for home buyers and for home sellers in Charlotte is not like it is in mega cities like San Francisco or Chicago because North Carolina is its own unique market.

When choosing a real estate agent, don’t forget that you have all of the choices and lots of autonomy in this situation. The right real estate agents are those who appreciate your needs and treat you with the kind of supportive methods that make it all work for you.

Real Estate Market Update: September 2022

Real Estate Market Update: September 2022

real estate market update house for fall

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The weather is cooling and so is the market

At the beginning of the year, the U.S. housing market saw historically low interest rates and high demand for houses, creating a seller’s market. New data is now suggesting that the market is beginning to cool down, just in time for fall. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales in July of 2022 were down almost 6% from June, making it the sixth consecutive month of decline. Even more astounding is that home sales were down 20.2% from the same time as last year. 

Other factors that have caused a cool down in the market can be contributed to the average interest rate sitting at just under 6% and the median price of a home being $403,800. However, this is down $10,000 from last month. The sharp rise in home prices is up almost 11% from this time last year. 

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence stated, “Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen…thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers.” 

Although home sales and home building are declining, the same cannot be said for home prices. “Inventory remains tight and prices continue to rise nationally with nearly 40% of homes still commanding the full list price,” stated Yun. 

This is not all bad news for homebuyers. While home prices continue to rise in many markets across the country, housing inventory is marginally rising. The National Association of  Realtors estimates that the total housing inventory in July was 1.31 million units, an increase of 4.8% from June.

Homes are still selling fast though, with the average property remaining on the market for 14 days

Homebuyers are starting to become more cautious when considering purchasing a new home. With interest rates being almost double they were at the beginning of of the year, some buyers cannot qualify for loans or afford the higher rates associated with the interest rate. However, according to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 5.41% in July, down from 5.52% in June. 

As the market continues to cool down, buyers might see favorable conditions again. Potential buyers searching for a home could expect less competition when making offers and more homes to choose from. Contingencies might also be accepted again, leading to a more balanced market. 

The bottom line is that mortgage rates have dropped marginally, inventory has increased slightly, and buyers should continue to be cautious and patient when purchasing a new home. 

Virtual property? Real estate in the Metaverse

virtual real estate

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As a kid, we probably envisioned our futures much like The Jetsons with flying cars and houses that appear like skyscrapers out of the clouds. While we still might be a long way off from flying cars, real estate is starting to thrive in the metaverse. 

In the metaverse, the engaging and fascinating virtual world universe, investors are starting to buy up virtual real estate. The metaverse provides a virtual reality where we can live, work, and play with others. If you’ve ever wanted to live next door to a celebrity like Snopp Dogg, virtual real estate is your chance. 

Companies like Facebook (known now as Meta) are helping to spark interest in owning property in the virtual world. Virtual real estate is growing so rapidly, Technavio Research says the virtual real estate market is expected to grow by $5.37 billion through 2026.

Why Invest in Virtual Real Estate? 

Technology and our digital world will continue to grow and because of this, investors are hoping virtual real estate will be a good investment. The property, or parcel, you own in the digital world can be used for a myriad of purposes. 

Depending on the type of virtual real estate you purchase, you can design and build structures, host interactive experiences like concerts and games, or even turn it into a marketplace to sell any assets. 

Reader’s Digest states, “Owning digital real estate effectively gives you a place in the metaverse that you can call home.” The metaverse allows you to meet and interact with other players, which could leverage itself into buying, selling, or trading digital real estate just like you do in the real world. 

How Do I Buy Metaverse Real Estate? 

In order to purchase virtual real estate, you will need to do the following:

  1. Create a digital wallet to hold your cryptocurrency. Make sure to keep your wallet’s secret keys and passwords in a safe place and never share them with anyone else. Also be mindful of the type of cryptocurrency your platform (where you purchase your virtual real estate) accepts. 
  2. Research virtual real estate by looking at several different platforms and viewing the market prices available in those platforms. Some platforms are The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Voxels. While most of these platforms are suitable for gamers, you do not have to play games in order to invest in virtual real estate.
  3. Once you’ve found a parcel of virtual land you want to invest in, purchase enough cryptocurrency to keep in your wallet. After you’ve purchased your virtual real estate, you will receive an NFT of your metaverse property. 

Just like with buying and selling real estate in the real world, metaverse real estate can also have risks. Because the metaverse is still in the early stages, there is room for growth which could lead to potential gains in the future. However, digital properties and cryptocurrency values are constantly changing. Make sure to do plenty of research if you are looking to take the leap into virtual real estate. 

Taking Control of Your Yard Before Putting Your House on the Market

homeowner preparing landscaping for home sale

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We’ve all heard the saying “First impressions matter” when meeting someone new, but did you know the same applies to your house? The landscaping of your home can influence potential buyers’ opinions since it is the first view they have when looking at your property.

If you’re about to list your home, enhancing your curb appeal will not only make your home more attractive to potential buyers, but it could also add value to your home

Before putting your home on the market, consider some of these tips.

  • Add or Replenish Any Mulch in Your Landscape Beds

Landscape beds offer a great chance to increase your home’s curb appeal by drawing attention to potential buyers. Enhancing the appearance of your landscape beds can make a huge difference, especially if you add or replace the mulch. 

Mulch comes in a variety of types that can fit the aesthetic of your yard: straw, wood chips, shredded bark, and more. The color and type of mulch you use can contrast any surrounding plants and flowers and make everything stand out more. Mulch also has several positive aspects as it’s relatively cheap, easy to apply, and offers health benefits to your plants. 

  • Incorporate Colorful Flowers in Your Landscape Beds

Adding colorful flowers to your landscape beds can also make your yard stand out against others. Consider planting seasonal flowers in your landscape beds before listing your property. Some seasonal flowers that are perfect for fall are mums, sunflowers, and black-eyed Susans.

  • Trim Trees and Bushes

Make sure potential buyers can actually see your home by trimming any trees and bushes. This will also allow more light into your home. Trimming any dead branches and shaping up bushes will show your yard is well-maintained. 

If you have any small plants in your landscape beds, consider trimming them as well. Doing so will eliminate overgrowth and help keep them in their intended shape. Keeping your landscape beds edged will also give off a clean appearance. 

  • Clean Water Features

Decorative water features can certainly draw attention to potential buyers. Make sure to keep the water clean and scrub off any visible algae, remove any dead leaves or debris, and replace the filter if available. 

  • Fix Irrigation Issues

Fixing any existing issues with your irrigation system will help potential buyers. While it can be costly, knowing there aren’t any problems will put potential buyers at ease. Make sure to provide them with any instructions on the system.

  • Powerwash Dirty Areas

If the exterior of your home has any paved walkways, fences, vinyl, or brick it might be worth your time and money to power wash this areas to make them look brand new. 

  • Maintain Your Lawn

One of the best ways to take control of your yard is to maintain your lawn. Keep the yard mowed and weeds pulled to maintain an attractive appearance and desirability of your home. 

Remember that first impressions are everything and curb appeal is what potential buyers notice first when looking at homes. 

Five Incredible Southeast Cities for Millennial Homebuyers

millenial exploring asheville, NC

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Millennial homebuyers looking for southern charm and hospitality can easily find them in cities like Raleigh, Asheville, Franklin, Savannah, and Richmond. Each is unique and has a distinct appeal. The biggest challenge will be choosing which one to explore!

  1. Raleigh, NC

With its diverse neighborhoods, history, great schools (Duke, UNC, and NC State), and job growth North Carolina’s capital city offers something for all millennial homebuyers. 

If you love visiting museums, Raleigh boasts three free, state funded options – the NC Museum of Art, the NC Museum of History, and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Raleigh is also home to several live music venues for small or large audiences, bringing in various types of entertainment for all crowds. 

Sporting events also play a major role in the lifestyle of Raleigh residents. There are plenty of games to choose from with the surrounding universities, not to mention Raleigh is home to NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes

There are also plenty of dining, shopping, and outdoor activities throughout the City of Oaks, making this capital city an ideal place for millennials. 

  1. Asheville, NC

Nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a city that gives off a small town vibe with all the amenities one would need. Asheville’s downtown is known for its restaurants, art galleries, and shops with many events happening throughout the year. 

If you’re a self-proclaimed beer enthusiast, Asheville is indeed the place for you with more breweries per capita than anywhere in the U.S. Outdoor adventurists can also revel in the many hiking and biking trails in the area with Pisgah National Forest nearby. You can also enjoy a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway or tour America’s largest home, the Biltmore

If you’re looking for a city that’s animal friendly and full of culture, Asheville is the place for you! 

  1. Franklin, TN

Located 20 miles from Nashville, Franklin, TN is an idyllic city bustling with a vibrant downtown and economic growth. Home to many health-care businesses and corporate headquarters such as Mitsubushi Motors and Nissan, Franklin continues to see a job market increase which is good news for millennial homebuyers. 

Residents in Franklin enjoy exploring The Factory, a former stove factory, that houses local shops, eateries, and entertainment. There are also plenty of historical and cultural sites to explore ranging from historic homes to farms to beautiful architecture in the downtown area. 

  1. Savannah, GA

Savannah is a charismatic southern city with tons of history and activities. It’s also an incredibly walkable city, making errands a breeze. If you value one-of-a-kind homes, Savannah has plenty of historic properties with stunning Greek or Gothic details. 

Living in Savannah also has the benefit of being near the coast. For those who enjoy watersports or recreational activities near the beach, look no further! The art scene is also impressive with nearby Savannah College of Art and Design

  1. Richmond, VA

Another capital city on the list is Richmond,VA. With its cobblestone streets and history at every corner, Richmond is full of amazing restaurants, museums, and its proximity to D.C. makes for fun weekend trips. 

Richmond is a dynamic city with amazing views of the James River. It’s also home to several universities like VCU and The University of Richmond, providing the city with diverse neighborhoods full of cool shops and entertainment venues. 

Wild Homes: The Shire on the Lake

hwild homes hobbit house in Michiganobbit house in Michigan

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If you’ve ever thought about living like a hobbit but won’t be able to jet out to New Zealand anytime soon, The Thatch House in Charlevoix, Michigan might be the spot for you. Unlike a typical hobbit hole, though, this “mushroom house” marries cozy comfort with modern luxury. 

The charming villa boasts six bedrooms and five bathrooms and includes some unique amenities, including a sitting area with a view of Lake Michigan, right across the street. With a home theater, several fireplaces, and a large dining room table, The Thatch House is a great space for entertaining – whether it’s invited friends or a horde of hungry dwarves brought upon by a wizard with a quest.

wild homes hobbit house in Michigan

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The original builder is nearly as fascinating as the home itself. Earl Young didn’t use blueprints; instead, he took inspiration from the surroundings, both for the shape of the home and for the building materials. He inspired a series of “mushroom houses”, although The Thatch House was his first home and didn’t fully encompass this whimsical, fantasy style until its redesign by Michael Seitz. 

wild homes hobbit house in Michigan

Image via Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

If the main house isn’t reminiscent enough like a Hobbiton for your tastes, there’s an accompanying chalet with one master bedroom and a loft with twin beds that mirrors the style of The Thatch House: lots of exposed stone with rustic wood furnishings. 

The Thatch House is within easy walking distance of several other mushroom houses, so those with an interest in quirky architecture may enjoy one of the several walking tours available. It’s also within a few steps of the sandy beach shores of Lake Michigan and a scant five minutes from downtown shopping, as well as the local marina. 

wild homes hobbit house in Michigan

Image via Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

If you ever find yourself in Charlevoix, a few hours northwest of Detroit, The Thatch House may be worth a visit. If you’re lucky, you might even be invited in for a second breakfast. 

The Slowing Real Estate Market’s Effect on Small Businesses

business owner housing market

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Although it might be obvious that large construction companies would be in less demand with new home construction declining, some consumers may not be aware of the significant impact the downturn in the real estate industry has had on their local small businesses. 

The US housing market finally began to slow down in May after two years of unprecedented rapid growth. By June, the typical US family could only afford about 43% of the new homes being built. In July, new home sales had decreased to 2016 levels. Even existing homes are down almost 6%, at the lowest level in two years, while the prices have continued to increase.

The Federal Reserve, voicing concerns about inflation, began to increase interest rates in the hopes of avoiding a recession, upping the rate by .75% in June. This increased cost in borrowing money likely tamped down potential homebuyers’ desires for bigger and better real estate. The days of buyers going under contract sight unseen are waning, and this creates a ripple across the home-building and renovation industries

As the housing market cools, homeowners have less incentive to renovate and improve their homes. Coupled with this, inflation is causing the costs and availability of materials to increase dramatically. Over the past year, construction businesses have seen some materials costs jump as much as 200%, and the average year-over-year increase may be as much as a 20% increase. These twin factors have caused a perfect storm for hesitancy among homeowners looking to renovate, buy, or build. 

This cooling off of interest in construction has recently been dubbed a “housing recession”. Builders, landscapers, and other small businesses related to improving homes for sale have had to lower prices in order to keep customers on their books, and their confidence in the market is taking a hit. Builder confidence has fallen every month in 2022, and is now below the 50-point mark into negative territory. The last time this measure wasn’t positive was June of 2014. 

So, what are small construction businesses doing while facing down the possibility of a market that may continue to decline into 2023? One option is changing the type of work that is the focus of their activity. Bill Albritton of Albritton Custom Carpentry in Charlotte, North Carolina is now doing more “kitchen facelifts”, a service that costs significantly less than installing custom cabinets from scratch. 

Another choice small construction companies might make to remain competitive with large firms that offer comprehensive building and remodeling services is to join up with complementary businesses to offer consumers more value. A landscaping company could join forces with a woodworker to design and create a new deck and custom patio with the shade trees and soft grass the client desires. Innovative connections like these may be the best way for small businesses to thrive during a housing market in decline. 

For those businesses watching housing prices and the costs of building materials closely, the recent downturn might be concerning. Those creative business owners who find new ways to generate a steady income stream are likely to be the ones best able to weather the storm. 

What Investors need to know about Opportunity Zones

home investor looking into opportunity zones

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Back in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was designed to create jobs and develop communities. One element of the act was identifying areas that needed more attention for economic growth; these are dubbed “opportunity zones”. In order to incentivize investment in these areas, the Department of the Treasury has created some tax benefits for these qualified opportunity zones, or QOZs.

To invest in a QOZ, investors can participate in a qualified opportunity fund, or QOF. Most people could invest in an opportunity zone, but only those making over $200,000 per year or with a net worth over $1 million are eligible to invest in a qualified opportunity fund. Before diving in, investors should know about these kinds of investments.

The benefits of the QOZ are clear, as the QOF invests in the real estate and businesses in the zone, but what is the benefit to the taxpayer with their money in the QOF? For one thing, investors can defer tax on their capital gains by setting it up in a QOF, waiting up to five years to pay it. For taxpayers who hold their investment in a QOF for ten years, any of their investment gains will be totally tax free at the end of that period. 

Any real estate investment carries risks, but a knowledgeable investor who carefully reads the information detailing the expectations of a particular fund should be well-equipped to determine if it’s worth the risk. Another reason a taxpayer may not want to take advantage of the tax benefits of a QOF is that some states don’t participate. So, an investor could still benefit from the federal tax deferral, but they’d be required to pay state tax. 

Eligible taxpayers should check with their tax and investment advisor to determine whether investing in a qualified opportunity zone would be beneficial to their portfolio. If deferring capital gains tax is of use, investing in an area struggling economically could be a way to do some good while reaping benefits for yourself. 

Why Tampa Bay is in the Top Ten Cities for Investors

Tampa Bay House for sale

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For three months in 2021, a quarter of home purchases were made by investors, not individual homeowners. Investor sales have gone up and back down since then, but investors are still almost 25% of the market as of the first quarter of 2022. So what makes the city so attractive?

As with most questions of real estate, a lot of Tampa’s appeal comes down to location, location, location. On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa is a major port city and therefore attracts overseas investors who may want to control more aspects of their import business. Even if shipping isn’t your thing, Tampa is a relatively short drive from three international airports, so foreign business and tourism is easy to accommodate there. 

The infrastructure for business is robust here as well, with job growth continuing to rise, even when it’s slowing in other places. Travel and tourism is a major growth leader, of course, but Tampa has also seen expansion in tech, healthcare, and education. Plenty of jobs and housing prices expected to continue to grow for another year make this coastal city an ideal location for investment.

Many investors in Florida are paying cash for their properties, eliminating concerns about a mortgage and therefore mortgage interest. The local populace may actually appreciate some of the investment activity these days. Since the Federal Reserve has been increasing interest rates, some potential homebuyers are priced out of purchasing a home. Investors can offer rental properties at affordable rates until the market cools down enough. 

Population growth is another factor investors likely consider when looking at Hillsborough County. The population is forecast to grow 3.3% each year over the next few years, and the population tends to come from a wide array of backgrounds. Many Tampa inhabitants are multilingual, with residents from over 130 nationalities.

With rivers, beaches, and virtually no days without sun, Tampa can be a very desirable location for investors looking to rent out properties to sun-seekers. Economic growth indicators are still favorable in this part of Florida, so whether investors are in it for business or pleasure – or the business of pleasure – they are likely to be able to find something that will suit their needs in Tampa. 

Should I build a tiny house on my land in North Carolina?

This section includes real questions from real homesellers, plus our answers. 

tiny house in North Carolina

Image by Jed Owen via Unsplash

Dear Connect,

I’m considering building a tiny house on a piece of land I inherited near Raleigh, NC. Right now, the piece of property is sitting empty, but I think I can do more with it. I came close to selling it last year, but ultimately sentimentality won out. These three acres were owned by my uncle, who left them to me when he passed away two years ago. There’s a little pond on the edge that I remember him taking me fishing in when I was a kid. 

The Triangle is constantly growing, and this property is near Knightdale. When we used to fish there decades ago, it was out in the middle of nowhere. Now there are developments everywhere around it and the location is more or less considered to be “in town” now. 

Though I don’t want to sell it because it’s an inherited property, I don’t want to do anything with it. I’m thinking I could build a tiny house on it for little money, overlooking the pond, then do short term rentals so that my extended family and I can come rent it as a way to remember him. 

Is this even a good idea? I’ve done lots of research into tiny houses, but I can’t seem to find out if this would be a wise investment. 

– Fishing for advice in Raleigh

First off, let me offer my condolences on your uncle’s passing. Losing a loved one is never easy, and you’re clearly trying to preserve a piece of him with this transaction. That’s worth doing. Given that you own land in North Carolina, and particularly given that it’s somewhere in demand like Raleigh, NC, a tiny home is certainly a viable option. Let’s look at the benefits and the pitfalls of building a tiny house on your land.

One of the first considerations should be about infrastructure: what do you want, and what is available? If the impetus behind building a tiny home is to save on construction costs, you may reconsider if you’ll have to pay for new sewer, water, electricity, and internet to what might be a rural area. If you build something that is “off the grid” or make use of a septic system rather than city sewer, the costs will be lower. The flipside is that the value will also be considerably lower, both in terms of rental and resale.  

Although tiny homes are legal in North Carolina, some places have more restrictions than others, including whether or not the home can be on wheels. You’ll definitely want to look into what the codes are in Knightdale. 

Tiny homes can be a great entry point for a more sustainable, less cluttered lifestyle. In your case, it would allow you to preserve the land and legacy of your family while still improving the property. The tiny home community is also highly connected and will offer you a good place to go for support as you work to market it as a rental. Be sure to look into the hidden costs of building and maintaining a tiny home on your property, but it’s absolutely worth investing in. Good luck!

August 2022 Real Estate Market Update – Connect Homebuyers

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What is normal in the real estate market?

Everywhere in the news we’re seeing that things are “getting back to normal” across the country. Rental prices and home prices are at least slowing down in their meteoric rise, even if they haven’t totally evened out just yet. The pandemic seems to be winding down, or at the very least we have the tools to deal with it effectively enough that life can keep chugging away.

Normal is of course relative, and the normal that things are getting back to in the real estate market is not necessarily going to be the normal that existed prior to the pandemic. If anything, we’re going to shift to a “new normal” that will be similar to what we had before but not quite the same. There’s a potential new wave pandemic on the horizon with monkeypox and omicron, but neither of those is threatening another shutdown right now.

The past two and a half years have been undoubtedly life-changing for everyone. There’s an old curse that people sometimes say to those that they wish ill upon – may you live in interesting times. We have certainly lived in interesting times, and we continue to live in them. 

The catch is that all times are interesting. Anyone who is investing in real estate right now should be old enough to remember the real estate bubble bursting in 2008, causing the huge flood of the Great Recession. Those were interesting times to live in, and they were just fourteen years ago. Overnight, the real estate market that used to seem so stable and immovable suddenly evaporated. Who could have imagined home prices going down? 

We cannot know what’s coming in the fall for the real estate market, not for certain anyway. It will most certainly be interesting though, and at least more stable, even if it’s not normal.  

China’s Summer Real Estate Catastrophe

Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China housing crisis

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There’s a housing crisis running through China that is threatening to upend one of the world’s largest economies, and it looks like it’s just getting started. 

The major issue is with debt in China right now, thanks to developers who over-leveraged their ability to deliver on huge construction projects and are now falling further behind with finishing homes. Homebuyers across China are increasingly angry, and with good reason. 

What’s unique about the housing crisis in China is the way that homeowners have come together to address the massive issues they’re facing. Recently, a group of mortgage holders in China came together and have vowed to stop paying their mortgage loans if construction doesn’t resume on three hundred partially finished homes. Construction giant Evergrande is increasingly a lightning rod for the frustration, with its massive debt laid that has caused a number of construction halts and raised the ire of homebuyers. 

Much like the massive bailouts we saw in the United States back in 2008, the Chinese government is exploring whether they need to step in to save homeowners and builders alike. The current bailout proposal would provide almost $150 billion worth of funds for developers to finish construction on the homes that are in progress. Whether that would solve the root problem is a whole different story, but it would at least mollify angry homeowners.

The crux of the situation is that home buyers in China are saddled with paying construction companies on homes that they can’t live in. These mortgages tie up major parts of the disposable funds that middle class Chinese families have, preventing them from using that money for other housing. Where these families are working hard to build a better life for themselves, they are saddled with debt for homes they may never step foot in.

Not only is it a problem that homeowners might not see the homes they’ve paid for, but even if they were able to get into the homes, the property would likely be worth less than the mortgage they owe. Falling real estate values in China are pushing home values lower at an alarming rate. 

The problem isn’t just affecting the ability of individuals to buy homes, it’s also bleeding into the other parts of life in China. Individuals are changing their marriage plans, halting their development of new businesses, and putting off having children due to the lack of stability in the housing market. How far the problems go and how long they continue to push middle class families to change their lifestyle has everything to do with how long this crisis goes on.  

The pledges by collectives of homeowners to defy large corporations like Aoyuan and stop paying their mortgage payments could potentially destabilize the Chinese economy if conditions don’t change. The issue affects more than ninety cities across China, and the scope of the problem is massive. The societal impact of hundreds of thousands of buyers simply opting to stop paying mortgages on these unfinished homes is unknown as the situation is so unprecedented. 

Why Professional Cleaning is Essential for Home Sellers

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Moving into a new house can be incredibly stressful, especially when you’re trying to sell the home that you’re moving out of. Getting the home clean and ready not only for the new owner to move in, but more importantly for the sales process, can feel daunting. 

Hiring a cleaning company might feel like a waste of money because it’s the kind of thing you could do yourself in theory, but in reality there are lots of benefits to having a professional cleaner take care of this aspect of the home selling process. 

  • Buyers want a clean start

Home buyers want to come into a space that looks new, even if it’s not. Though you’ve lived in the home for a long time and might not notice the dust on the baseboards or the grime around the back of the toilets, a professional cleaning service will spot those things in a deep clean and create a fresh slate for the new buyer. They’ll detail your house in ways that you might not think necessary. These professionals understand the depth of cleaning that’s required for a buyer to see your home the way you want it to be seen.

  • Cleaning takes up valuable time

The biggest reason to hire a professional cleaning service when you’re selling a home is that cleaning a home takes a lot of time. Rather than eating up those hours scrubbing the floors or wiping off fan blades, let an expert take care of it. This extends to especially tough areas like kitchens and bathrooms, as well as to carpets. A professional cleaning service will be able to do the job faster and more thoroughly than you can. 

  • Return on investment

There are lots of costs associated with selling a home, and some of them have a better return on investment than others. Professional cleaning is one that will almost always give a positive return because it makes such an impact on potential buyers. A dirty house can indicate to buyers that there are other problems because the home has not been well maintained, leading them to offer lower bids and for you to get a lower return overall.

  • Professionals will do a better job

When someone is performing a job that they are experienced at, they learn to see things that others just can’t. A professional cleaning company will have the experience to see things in your home that you might not, like how much nicer the room looks when the light switches and doorknobs have been scrubbed. These minutiae make a big difference in the overall impression that buyer gets when they look at the home.

When you’re selling a home, whether it’s on your own through a FSBO listing, with a realtor in a traditional sale, or with a cash buyer. A professional cleaning crew will be able to look at your home with fresh eyes and see things that you can’t. Once they see those things, they can come in with professional grade tools and techniques to clean in the house faster and better than you have time or headspace to do. 

New Construction is Booming in Raleigh-Durham

North Carolina flag over a new construction home

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The Raleigh-Durham home sales market has been one of the top real estate markets in the country for decades thanks to a robust economy, relatively cheap home prices, and a high standard of living. RDU provides the amenities that many bigger cities offer, and the temperate climate offers a more relaxed and balanced pace of life compared to other metropolitan areas.

In a recent report from the Inspection Support Network, the Raleigh-Cary region was found to be among the top three metro areas for new home construction. RDU ranked behind Nashville, Tennessee and Austin, Texas. This is an important statistic because it means that, though home construction continues to be hampered by supply chain issues, this area is increasing its real estate inventory. 

The region measured by the report includes Franklin County, Johnston County, and Wake County. The study measured the 53 biggest metro statistical areas in the United States. Per the findings, for every one thousand existing homes in the RDU metropolitan statistical area, 39.5 new housing units were built in 2021. 

The total number of new home construction properties in the RDU area was 21,649 for the entire year, which is a substantial increase over the last year that data is available, 2019. In that year, there were just 13,320 new home projects approved. It’s notable that there is no data for 2020, as the pandemic derailed almost all new construction during that year. The increase is significant – 62.5%. The growth in RDU in new home construction approval is behind only the Philadelphia metro area. 

The takeaway from this report is that RDU is going to be a leader in metropolitan real estate markets in the next several years. As work has pivoted from in person to remote, there was some question about where things like new construction would fall and whether there would be some shift away from traditionally hot markets like RDU.

These new numbers show that new home construction is still centered in the same areas that it was before the pandemic, at least in the case of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary market. Without a significant move towards lesser growing areas, investors and homeowners can safely assume that RDU is going to remain in the highest echelon of home sales and construction across the United States. 

Wild Homes: Rounding Out in Sarasota

Image by David Bruce Kawchak

Anyone interested in hanging a”round” for some fun? A recently listed property at 3201 Peachtree Street in Sarasota, FL has made a circuit around the internet recently not only for its incredible shape, but also for its throwback interior. 

Sitting on a half acre lot in the midst of a grove of trees, the house has been masterfully flipped from a run down oddity to a sparkling example of throwback styling. It’s an incredible home for anyone of any age. 

Image by David Bruce Kawchak

Built in the round, the home has a three bedroom, one bathroom layout that’s all packed into just under thirteen hundred square feet. Though it was modeled on the Hilton Leech Art Studio down the street in Sarasota, Florida, this is a private residence that would be suitable for a family. 

What makes this home so unique isn’t just the round design, it’s that it’s in almost pristine retro condition. The colors, finishes, and furnishings all offer a 1960’s vintage feel that is like walking back in time. 

Awash in blue, white, and brown tones, the home is a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. The soft curves of the walls contrast sharply with the bursts of light fixtures and the long lines of the furniture. 

Image by David Bruce Kawchak

Recently renovated, the interior footprint of the home was changed thanks to the removal of an interior wall to make a larger primary bedroom. In addition, the bathroom was updated to include mosaic tile and a luxury tub. Though the home is full of retro appliances, they’ve been restored with the recent update to provide the kind of convenience that we would expect in a home at this price point. 

In fact, a whole host of improvements went into the updates on this home. The addition of a new roof and new HVAC, as well as new Impact windows and wifi LED smart lighting throughout the home give the retro styling a modern backbone. Prior to the latest renovation, the home was in disrepair.

Originally listed at $899,000, 3201 Peachtree St. is a home that’s well worth the buzz. 

What the Huge Rise in Foreclosures Across the U.S. Means for the Housing Market

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Foreclosures are a part of the real estate economy, and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with that. The way that the U.S. market is structured, there will always be a percentage of homes that revert back to the lender when the homeowner can’t pay back the loan. 

The question isn’t whether there are foreclosures – it’s how many foreclosures there are. In the last six months, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of foreclosed homes in America. This metric is measured in the number of “foreclosure starts”, which is the first public notice of a foreclosure getting going. 

In the first half of 2022, foreclosure starts were up 219% according to data from ATTOM Data Solutions. This jump was seen across all markets, with 96% of metropolitan areas in the United states seeing an increase in the number of filings for foreclosure by lenders. Top states for foreclosures include New Jersey, California, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, and Florida.

Is this huge increase indicative of something really going wrong in the economy? That’s unlikely. During the pandemic, moratoriums on foreclosures prevented lenders from being able to foreclose on residential mortgages. The huge increase in foreclosure starts is more representative of a climb back to foreclosure rates that we experienced before COVID. According to historic data, the US. The foreclosure rate is still below what it was prior to the pandemic. 

Though the mid-year totals for 2022 seem high, they still aren’t close to the mid-year totals for 2019, the last year that we have data for that’s not affected by COVID foreclosure moratoriums. The loans that are being foreclosed on now are by and large homes that were already three months past due before the pandemic. 

The pace of foreclosures is going up certainly, but it’s nowhere near the kind of levels that economists would be concerned about. Not yet, anyway. The real question will come when the current backlog of mortgages that are already past due start to come around. Since the current round of foreclosure starts are largely made up of loans that were behind through the pandemic, they aren’t a clear indicator of where the foreclosure rate is right now, but rather they’re an indicator of where the foreclosure process was two years ago. 

The massive shift in employment rates, with job openings at an all time high, has blunted the number of real mortgage defaults. 

This rise in foreclosure rates is actually good news for buyers in the tight market that’s been an impossibility for the last couple of years. High rates of foreclosure will open up inventory that has been frozen due to these moratoriums. Once those homes are through the foreclosure process, they’ll come back onto the market and provide some relief for homebuyers who have been unable to find open houses. 

This reality makes the whole process a double edged sword. A higher number of residential properties being foreclosed on is a tragedy for those families who are losing their homes, but it’s an opportunity for other homebuyers who have been unable to find homes due to the tight housing market.

All in all, the market is balancing out, and part of that is necessarily tied to foreclosures coming back up to pre-pandemic levels. The numbers are dramatic, absolutely, but they aren’t unhealthy. The economy is slowly coming back to where it was without the artificial limits placed on it by pandemic safety nets, and overall that’s a good thing for the housing market. 

Essential Facts About Home Inspection for Sellers

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Home inspectors are a part of the real estate process that’s baked in, and for good reason. Even when someone lives in a house, they might not realize when things go wrong behind the scenes. Bringing in a home inspector means unearthing potential problems and getting a good bead on issues that might be on the horizon. 

  • Attend your home inspection

Though most home inspectors will perform their inspection while you’re away, it’s a much better idea for you to be present. This way, you can ask questions and give them context about what the issues are, as well as potentially giving you recommendations about which professionals will be able to do the work. 

  • Start with a generic list

One solid tip is that you can start off with a general home inspection list that you do yourself. With this kind of knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to ask the inspector questions and you’re less likely to be blindsided by their findings. 

  • Expect to pay for an inspection

Home inspections overall will cost around three hundred dollars. This gives you not only the time and expertise of the home inspector, but they will also provide you with a written report detailing their findings. 

  • Get a home inspection early

A home inspection will help you be able to price your home effectively and to know what opportunities you might have for repairs. Not only that, but a home inspection can help you sell your home to potential buyers, who will take solace in knowing that you’ve done the right thing.

For a home seller, a home inspection can be a great tool for getting the most value out of a home. Learning how and when to use a home inspection can help you to know whether and how much you should rely on it will save you time and money, and it will also give you peace of mind. 

Michigan Property Taxes are Rising – How High Will They Go?

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Inflation is hitting Americans hard all over the country, and many families are struggling to keep up with constantly rising costs. In many parts of Michigan, property taxes are now going up as well, representing a doubling down of increased costs for homeowners in those areas. 

Property taxes in Michigan are based on the assessed value of a home, not on what a homeowner is paying in their mortgage. With the huge increase in property values over the last couple of years, homes all over the country, including in Michigan, are now worth dramatically more than they were when homeowners purchased them. That value isn’t reflected in the income of these homeowners – in real terms, it’s just on paper.

Fortunately for homeowners, Michigan caps the amount of taxable value that a homeowner can withstand to just five percent in a tax year. That’s good news for homeowners, as many homes have seen much bigger jumps in value recently. Michigan has stricter limits on property tax increases than most of the rest of the country. It limits property tax increases from three angles – levy limits, assessment, and rate. This use of three different methods to limit increases is unusual, but it’s good for homeowners. 

Even with that cap, the average homeowner in Michigan is going to see a 3.3% increase in their property taxes thanks to recent recalculations. Urban areas in the state are seeing the highest tax level, but places like Detroit are already levying some of the highest rates in the state, so there’s not much room for growth. Unfortunately, homeowners who are in the lowest income brackets are likely to see the highest leaps in property taxes. 

The current jump in property taxes across Michigan is the highest increase since 2009, and those who have recently bought homes are going to experience higher increases than homeowners who have long held mortgages. 

As property taxes in Michigan are tied to inflation, homeowners should continue to expect property tax increases as long as inflation rates continue to go up. Michigan calculates its property taxes on homeowners twice a year. In six months, these rates are likely to increase again, something that homeowners should be prepared to pay for. 

Ask Connect: How do I sell an off-the-grid property?

Off-the-grid property for sale in Joshua Tree

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This section includes real questions from real homesellers, plus our answers. 

Dear Connect,

For the last decade, I’ve owned and renovated an off-the-grid property about two hours from Charlotte, North Carolina

It started out as a rustic cabin in the woods outside of Asheville, with little insulation and no foundation. Since then, I’ve dug a well and built a beautiful outhouse, plus added a camp shower and put the home up on a foundation. I’ve put a lot of work into making it a beautiful place to retreat to, putting on a tin roof and installing modern insulation to keep it warm in the winter. There’s a wood burning stove inside and a propane grill on the porch. Inside, it’s cozy and clean, with lots of light and modern amenities – except for electricity.

Even with all of those improvements, I’ve chosen not to run electricity to the property and it’s free of wifi signal, though there is reliable cell phone service. If you didn’t know it during the day, you’d look at the house and think it was a wired cabin. 

Though I’ve loved having this haven for my own use for the last few years, it’s time for me to let it go. In an ideal world, I’d sell it to someone who would keep it off the grid as it is, but I know that’s unrealistic. In the real world, I’d like to at least get my investment back out of it. 

Is it possible to sell a house that’s off the grid but is well finished for a solid price? It’s such an unusual property that I’m unsure about what to list it at, and the realtors I’ve spoken with in the area are not much help. Another issue is that it sits on 10 acres, and I know that the property itself is going to have a substantial value  


Off the grid but in the market

First off, great work on putting all of that into what sounds like an incredible property. 

I cannot see that you’ll have any trouble selling this house or the piece of property if it’s in the kind of condition you say it’s in. Though these properties are unusual, you’ll want to keep in mind that they’re also highly desirable. You’re not selling a fixer-upper. This is a property that has lots going for it, and the acreage is no small thing in that area of North Carolina

All that being said, you want to keep in mind that the most likely outcome is that your property will end up in the hands of a developer if it’s near Asheville and it’s that big. Your little cabin that’s off the grid is likely to be laid low in deference to a string of glowing houses with neat yards. I’m sure that’s not what you want, but it’s unavoidable if you sell. You could potentially spin off the property and sell the cabin separately, but that’s no guarantee that the cabin will stay intact. 

The most likely thing that you’ll see is a huge interest in your property. My advice is to list it and see what happens, then let yourself be surprised by the interest. If you need to sell it faster for whatever reason, there are plenty of investors who would offer you cash for the property to get it off your hands quickly. You’ve got all the choices here! 

Real Estate Market Update: July 2022

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The heat is on this summer. 

July is set to bring record-high temperatures to every part of the United States, but sometimes it feels like it’s more than just the outside heat that’s scorching. More and more, everyone is being pushed to feel like the fiery sands are shifting beneath our feet in the real estate world. 

After two and a half years of unheard-of gains in home prices and a market that transformed into something unlike anything anyone has ever seen, it looks like things are veering in a new direction. No one can quite predict what that direction will be or when it will start, but if it’s anything like what we’ve witnessed in the last two years, it’s going to be a doozy.

Here’s the thing to remember: real estate has always been about change. Transformation is baked into this business. Property is the most stable, concrete asset out there, and in real estate, we move people to and from that asset. The asset itself doesn’t go anywhere, but everything around it changes. Understanding this fundamental truth of the property business makes it easier to understand why the market changes so much and so often.

Summer is always a frenetic time for home sellers, home buyers and real estate investors, but this year feels even more scorching than usual. Whatever side of the real estate equation someone is on – buyer, seller, investor, or agent, learning more about the market is a way to lower the temperature and reach whatever goals you might be chasing. 

The Cloudy State of Global Real Estate

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The sky isn’t falling yet, but globally, things aren’t looking positive for the real estate market. You don’t need to be reminded of the headlines, but here they are anyway: a raging war that’s unseated the world’s economy, skyrocketing inflation that’s pushing the cost of everything way higher than it should be, and the potential for a housing bubble pop that could strike everyone as hard or harder than those first two dire situations. 

Globally, the biggest banks in the world are increasing their interest rates more than they have in decades. Though the reasoning behind the increases is sound, given the shocking level of inflation that’s squeezing everyone around the world, it’s already having a chilling effect on residential real estate everywhere. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a global intergovernmental organization that’s been the center of economic progress since the sixties. Its forty or so member countries are the top economies in the world, the places that set the tone for global economic realities. In a recent analysis by Bloomberg, half of OECD countries have price-to-income ratios above what they were just ahead of the 2008 recession. In layman’s terms – economists who look at global trends are feeling the push of a major economic downturn. 

That number has warning bells going off for everyone with good reason. A high price-to-income ratio means that people have little extra to spend at best, and at worst it means they can’t afford to maintain what they already have. The United States is on the list at number seven, below leader New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Australia, Canada, and Portugal. 

What does this mean for private real estate holders in America? It means that global economic leaders need to tamp down inflation as much as possible, and to do that they need to slow down the tremendous rise in housing prices that we’ve seen in the last two years. That necessarily means raising interest rates. It’s a delicate dance, because every effort they make to pull back on housing prices has the ability to further nudge the potential avalanche of recession. 

Even with all of that gloom and doom, it’s important for everyone with a stake in real estate to take a step back and think critically about where we are. A collapse like what we saw in 2008 is not likely given the changes in lending regulations that were put in place after the Great Recession. The strength of labor markets around the world will also make it difficult for things to take a massive downward spike, at least not one that happens all at once. 

The takeaway for home sellers and real estate professionals is that the rise in housing prices that we’ve seen over the last two years is going to cool much more than it has already. While it’s still a seller’s market, it won’t be that way for a whole lot longer. 

An Uncommon Approach to Selling Your Home

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Even the most experienced homeowner can use some quick insight into what’s new and what’s working in home sales. With the landscape of real estate constantly changing, finding new ways to attract buyers is always a good thing. 

Here are three unconventional ways to increase your home’s sale potential. 

  • Overnight guests

It’s not unusual for someone to take a bit of time to make a major decision like buying a home, but this home sales technique takes the phrase “let me sleep on it” to a whole new level. Letting a potential buyer stay overnight in a property is an innovative way to let them really get a feel for the home. The idea is to get them to have a major emotional reaction that will translate to more of a willingness to meet your price. 

Before trying this one, make sure to check with your real estate attorney to see what liabilities could be involved. 

  • Go for the highest bidder

Though real estate auctions are associated with homes in foreclosure, that’s not the only way that they can work. Selling a house through a real estate auction is one viable alternative to other kinds of home sales.

Homeowners who want to sell their house quickly while also going for as high a price as possible can explore holding a real estate auction for their property. One thing to keep in mind here is that a real estate auction isn’t free – expect to pay as much or more in service fees and other costs as you would if you listed with a real estate agent.

  • Throw in the kitchen sink

When people imagine selling a home, they usually either imagine scenes of beautifully staged homes or totally empty rooms. Leaving furniture or even some appliances can be viewed as a negative for the sale.

One newer idea is to flip the notion of extras on its head, offering potential buyers the bonus of goodies that aren’t traditionally part of a real estate deal. These could be things as simple as a big TV on the wall or as extravagant as a free vacation. Sweetening the deal with extras that don’t have anything to do with the house is one way to get some attention from potential buyers.

Before trying any of these outside-the-box real estate sales techniques, think through the boosts and benefits thoroughly. Either way, it’s nice to know there are options!

How the Land Trust Model is Shaping Affordable Housing in Detroit

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Especially given the blazing rise in real estate prices over the last two years, affordable housing is a legitimate and hard-to-solve problem across the United States. Areas of the country like Detroit that have had a long history of economic struggle are being hit the hardest.

Creative solutions to the problem of affordable housing have to be part of the path to making homeownership a reality. To that end, community development organization Dream of Detroit, among others, is bringing a novel concept to help solve this not-so-new problem. 

A community land trust is a non-profit organization that works through a board model to create opportunities for home ownership and build community assets in areas where there is a high level of need. The nonprofit organization actually holds the deed to the land, and it is then able to offer that land to families at a lower cost than a traditional home sale. This kin community-driven, shared housing model can make owning a home possible for families who would never have been able to do so prior. 

Lack of mortgage opportunities has been a real problem in Detroit for decades. For many years, the city was seen as “un-mortgageable” by lending institutions. This meant that working families couldn’t buy homes, further pushing the city into disrepair and economic disparity. That’s a legacy that continues today, as most home purchases are still made with cash in Detroit. 

The community model works by taking areas of land that were previously undeveloped or that had fallen into disrepair and bringing them back to life. The nonprofit organization purchases the piece of property, then a family comes in and builds a home on the land. The non-profit leases the land to the homeowner, who signs a 99-year lease. Essentially, they lease the land but they own the house that sits on the land. Often, community spaces like gardens and playgrounds are incorporated into these planned communities. Communal spaces are maintained by the non-profit umbrella organization. 

At its core, the idea here is that the property stays affordable not only for the current owner but that it stays within the community so that it’s affordable for future owners. So far, the idea is helping to revitalize communities that were previously economically depressed in Detroit. This is a starting place for Michigan, but it could be a model that would work in other cities to support home ownership in otherwise unreachable housing markets. 

Wild Homes: Weatherproof and Wondrous in Wilmington

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Wilmington, North Carolina, is known for its laid-back beach vibe and its unique coastal flavor of southern charm. It’s not generally known for its architecture. Enter this recently listed “waterfront resort residence”, which is far more like what you’d find in SoCal or Hawaii than what’s commonly seen on the beaches of the southern Atlantic. 

Image by Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty

From the outside, it’s clear that this house was designed by someone who wanted to bring a different kind of lifestyle to Wilmington. The home was created in the tropical modernism style that rose in Hawaii following World War II, which is why it’s so unlike the other things you’ll find in New Hanover County. It’s built with exposed steel and concrete, which are architectural features that also help ensure the longevity of the home through the brutal North Carolina hurricane season. 

Image by Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty

The central theme of this house is the blending of the inside and the outside. In fact, it’s almost like the two aren’t separate at all. A long lap pool runs right under the center of the house, bordered by two open-air living spaces, one with an outdoor fireplace. Interior walls are decorated with warm woods including African Wenge, sawn white oak, and American walnut, but the furniture is sparse and the spaces are open. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Atlantic ocean include a view of the fifty-foot floating dock that comes with the property. This unusual home at 1 Auditorium Circle, Wrightsville Beach is listed by Sotheby’s International Realty for a cool price of $13.9 million.

Six U.S. Cities have More Housing Listings Now than Before the Pandemic

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Everywhere you look in real estate in the United States, people are looking for homes. According to Freddie Mac, the United States is in need of roughly 3 million houses, due to supply chain issues and an already low number of existing homes on the market.

After the last two years of the housing market frenzy, you’d expect that there would be fewer homes listed for sale now than before the pandemic. For most of the major real estate markets in America that’s true, but it’s not happening everywhere. 

For the first quarter of 2022, six of the top fifty housing markets in the United States had, on average, more listings than they did in the quarter immediately preceding the pandemic back in 2020. Per an analysis by Black Knight, a mortgage data and technology tracking company, Kansas City, San Antonio, Portland, Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco all had more listings now than they did two years ago. 

Some of this shift most certainly has to do with the shift to remote work thanks to pandemic restrictions. Most of those cities are at the highest level of home prices, and people are moving out of them in order to find places where housing is more affordable. Thanks to remote work possibilities and a robust economy in terms of labor, home buyers have plenty of choices about where they live. Essentially, people are leaving high-priced housing in Seattle, Portland, San Jose, and San Francisco for places where they can get more houses for less money. 

On the other side of the coin is Raleigh, NC, which has the largest housing deficit in the country. Markets with high housing deficits continue to have an extraordinarily low inventory of homes. 

The question about what this means centers on supply versus volume. Is the increase in new listings because the supply is finally catching up to at least somewhat meet the demands of the marketplace? Maybe. The other option is that sales volumes are slowing instead, leading to a lower number of real estate deals being locked down. Whatever the reason is, it’s certain that the housing market is shifting substantially in a new direction. 

Getting a Firm Foundation in Capital Gains Tax

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Capital gains tax is the much loathed, often misunderstood, federal tax on money made from the sale of assets. In real estate, capital gains tax directly impacts people who sell their homes for a profit, but there are plenty of caveats. 

Whether a home sale is subject to capital gains tax has to do with a complex maze of qualifications that include whether the home was a primary residence or an investment property, tax bracket, marital status, length of time the home was owned, and even whether someone is a member of the military. Where a home seller falls into each of those categories affects whether and how much they’ll have to pay in capital gains tax. 

If you are subject to capital gains tax, the next step is straightforward – you’ll owe either short-term capital gains tax or long-term capital gains tax. Both are payable quarterly, though they can be held until the end of the year and folded into your annual tax filing. The IRS mandates that these are included in yearly tax reports.

Short-term capital gains tax comes into play when the asset was owned for less than twelve months. This might be called “short term” because the holding was only for a short amount of time, but if you’re taxed at this rate, then you’re definitely getting the short end of the stick. The tax rate for short-term capital gains is a whopping 37%. Selling a house that’s eligible for capital gains tax within the same twelve-month period as purchasing it is a definite no-no from a tax perspective. 

Long-term capital gains tax is calculated at a much lower rate than short-term capital gains tax. Think ten to twenty percent depending on other factors – half or more than short-term capital tax. The government does this to incentivize people to put more money into long term investments. The idea is that the longer investments are held, in the wider scheme of things, the better off the economy is as a whole.

Capital gains tax is only assessed on the profit from the sale of a home, not on the principal. For example, if you bought a home ten years ago for $250,000 and sold it this year for $325,000, then you would owe long-term capital gains tax on $75,000. If your income falls into the mid-range, then you’d owe 15% in taxes on that profit. The IRS is going to send you a bill for $11,520. 

In 2022, there was a surge in capital gains tax across the board at an unprecedented level thanks to huge stock gains and real estate price increases. This sent a lot of people scrambling to pay off those bills. In the coming years, using techniques like tax loss harvesting could be a better solution than simply taking the hit. 

Making sense of capital gains tax is important for anyone selling a home. Knowing what this major federal tax is, how it could apply to you, and by extension how to avoid it, has the potential to save you a lot of money on the sale of a home. Though it’s important to always consult with a tax professional about your options on taxes, learning what you can about your own situation is important too. Nobody wants to pay more in taxes than they have to. 

Overvalued? Why Experts Say the South Florida Real Estate Market is Way too High

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Though the general consensus among economists is that the current real estate market isn’t a bubble so much as a new floor, some researchers in South Florida are warning of a massive overvaluation in home prices.

The South Florida real estate market has long been one of the highest in the United States. Miami is competitive not only because of the local demand for real estate, but also because of a higher than average number of foreign landowners that purchase in the area. 

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have been tracking and analyzing home prices across Florida and the United States for years through the FAU Real Estate Initiative. Led by Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Ken Johnson, the team evaluates areas like affordable housing, population changes, natural resource infringement, and investment. This initiative is part of the wider school of finance, and it focuses on providing both data about real estate as well as data driven solutions to the problems that they uncover. 

Per recently released research from the Real Estate Initiative, current home prices and rent levels are far separated from the actual values of property in South Florida and across the United States. In South Florida, it’s almost 30%, but more than a dozen markets across the country are closer to fifty percent. Those numbers are striking in part because they’re more than double what they were a year ago according to the research from FAU. That separation is the core of the problem, and it might not manifest in the ways that we normally expect housing bubbles to look. 

Such a gap between what homes are valued at in the market versus what they’re worth has the potential to negatively impact the economy. Rather than being a bubble that bursts, researchers at FAU are concerned about a slower, more insidious housing affordability crisis. The dramatic fallout of previous housing bubbles is less likely than a constant grinding away at populations who are already struggling with maintaining adequate housing. 

Researchers point to the constant influx of investors from out of state who have long shaped the Florida real estate economy. Palm Beach County in particular is seeing a major shortage of inventory among the most recent waves of outside homebuyers. The issue at heart isn’t whether developers and investors will be able to afford to live in these parts of Florida, but whether even members of the middle class like healthcare workers, teachers, and service workers will be able to afford to live in South Florida. Housing affordability for marginalized communities is another beast altogether. 

As far as solutions, FAU proposed inventory increases as the best way to address the problem and decrease the record housing prices. That’s a long term fix, but it’s also a fix that will solve the fundamental issues in the market in South Florida. For now, home buyers and investors can only keep riding the wave of a hot housing market that is only just starting to show some signs of cooling.  

Ask Connect: Should I Sell My Rental Property?

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This section includes real questions from real homesellers, plus our answers. 

Dear Connect,

About two years ago, I relocated from Tampa, Florida to Cincinnati, Ohio for work with a plan to come back in three years. Rather than selling my house, I rented it out to an acquaintance at a rate well below the market rental price with the idea that they would take care of it until I came back home. 

In the time since then, things have changed, as they so often do in life. My employer is offering me a permanent position at a salary that I can’t turn down, plus I’ve developed a real love of the community in Cincinnati. The bottom line is that I don’t want to go back to Florida, for lots of reasons.

I don’t want to make a rash decision that’s based totally on the market, but I do want to make a smart decision. Being a landlord isn’t my cup of tea, and I dread it every time I have to fix something or deal with the house at all, even though my renter is as good as a renter could possibly be. I’ll make a sizable profit from the sale with the market where it is now. I know I’ll sidestep capital gains tax if I sell now because I’ve lived in it for two of the last five years. 

The issue really is that I’ve got a great interest rate on the loan at 3.75% and that the tenant really loves living there. They love it so much that they’re willing to pay market rate for the rent, which would represent a sizable increase. It would clearly give me a good source of extra income. 

With the housing market feeling like it could turn at just about any time, I’m worried that I’ll kick myself if I hold onto the property. I’m not much of an investor, and I’m also concerned about capital gains tax.

Should I sell or keep on being a landlord?

– Confused in Cincy

It sounds to me like you’ve already answered your question, but you’re trying to talk your way around it anyway. That’s not a bad idea, so let’s walk through it. 

Being a landlord isn’t as simple as collecting rent, as you’ve already figured out. There’s maintenance to be done on the home, repairs to take care of when a tenant leaves, and vetting that you’ll need to do when you do eventually have a changeover. No renter stays forever, even though your perfect tenant might stick around for a while. You could easily solve the problem of managing the property if you hired a property management company to take care of all of those things. 

There’s still more to it than that, beyond the property management piece. Taxes on a rental property aren’t straightforward, and you’ll be dealing with things from halfway across the country to boot. You’ll definitely want to work with an accountant who has experience in working with landlords. If you do hold onto it for much longer, as you pointed out, you’ll owe capital gains tax on any profit you make over the life of the property. There are also things to consider like how much you owe on the loan and how old the house is, i.e. whether it will need repairs.
Where things are, it sounds like you’ll make a solid profit on the sale of the house and that you’ll be able to step away without too much hassle. It’s a seller’s market for certain right now. It’s impossible to know the future of the market, and there’s not much use in trying to forecast how high home prices might go. Instead, you’ll do better to focus on whether you want to keep this property, right now, and continue to maintain it. There are lots of ways to diversify your investments that don’t involve being a landlord.

How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor in Detroit, Michigan

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When it comes time to move on from your home, there can be a lot of tough decisions. Though the prospect of doing it on your own can be daunting, it can also be rewarding.  If you’re curious about how to sell a house without a realtor in Detroit, you’ve come to the right place. 

All you need is the right information and the willingness to get your hands dirty. There are a lot of moving parts involved in selling a house, but there are also a lot of rewards. Not only can you save money when you sell a home without a realtor, but it’s also immensely satisfying too. 

Reasons to sell your home yourself

Though there’s definitely some personal satisfaction with selling a house independently, the real driver for most people to sell their home themselves is financial. A good real estate agent is going to take six or seven percent in commission to list and then sell your home. Real estate agents have to make money off the real estate transaction, after all.

That fee can cause some sticker shock to homeowners. If you’re selling a home for $200,000, that leaves the real estate agent with a commission of around $14,000. Though that fee is well worth their time and expertise, it’s still a hefty chunk of change. 

What does a real estate agent do?

open house sign on a FSBO house

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When you list your home with a real estate agent, they’ll do all of the heavy lifting. Though a real estate commission seems high, it’s to cover a lot of work from the seller’s agent. 

– Client visits
– Information gathering
– Market analysis
– Professional home photos
– Staging
– Open houses
– Fielding calls from prospective buyers
– Fielding calls from buyer agents
– Forming a marketing plan specific to the property
– Lots of paperwork
– Arranging appraisals
– Arranging a home inspection
– Ensuring legal requirements are met
– Closing efforts

Even with all of that, some home owners still don’t want to handle the real estate commission. That’s especially true for a house that’s close to or even below the value owed on the mortgage. Homeowners who are worried that they won’t be able to cover what they owe are understandably hesitant to give a big percentage to a real estate agent. 

Steps to selling your house without an agent

If you’ve decided to sell your house without a real estate agent, there are specific steps you should follow. It’s not hard to do, but you will want to follow the steps to make sure you don’t miss anything important. 

home sold without a real estate agent

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1 – Find out the fair market value of your home

Getting the listing price right is the first step in selling your home.  You’ve got a few options to figure out the fair market value of your home. 

The first is done through an online site like Zillow, which measures current trends in your neighborhood. The second is something you’ll have to go to a local real estate agent for. You can ask them to do a CMA for you. You’ll have to pay for it, but the fee is nominal and well worth it. You’ll also have to pay for a Detroit appraiser.

The fair market value of a home in Detroit, Michigan is determined mainly by the following factors. There can be others depending on the area around Detroit that you’re in.

– Location
– Style
– Size
– # of bedrooms
– #of bathrooms
– Lot size

2 – Get your house ready for sale

To get your house ready for the market, you’ll have to do a few things to make sure it’s on point. 

Minor cosmetic repairs
– Clean and declutter
– Improve the front of the home for curb appeal

You might consider hiring a Detroit cleaning company to help you do the heavy lifting. A clean and decluttered house is essential to attract buyers.

You’ll also want to gather all the information you can about the home’s condition. Repair bills, proof of work done on the house, etc. Once your home is clean and ready to go, it’s time to take some pictures. Consider working with a home stager to help you make your house look its best.  

It’s important to note here that you can also work with a cash buyer to sell your house fast without making repairs. You’ll get a lower price, but you’ll also avoid all of the preparation costs. That path might be worth it if you want to sell a burdensome home quickly.

3 – Spread the word

The more you advertise and market your home effectively, the better the price you’ll get. Even in a seller’s market, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you get more eyeballs on your home. 

But a professional looking for sale sign up in the front yard. Have your phone number printed on it at a local print shop for a better price. You can also print up flyers with a picture of your home. These are great to have on the counter when people come in for open houses. You can also post them locally. Though everyone seems to be online these days, sometimes the best way to get the word out is the old fashioned way. 

You will want to list online as well. Put up an ad on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for free. You can also look for real estate sales websites to list your home on. You’ll have to pay to list on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Expect for that to run you one to two hundred dollars. 

Here’s the information you’ll want to include in your home marketing materials.

– Square footage
– Year built
– # of bedrooms/bathrooms
– Room sizes
– Recent updates
– Amenities
– Neighborhood features

Using those professional photos from step 2 is critical here. Make sure you’ve got photos with great lighting that highlight your home – you might even want to hire a professional photographer for a few hundred dollars. 

4 – Negotiation with buyers

Particularly in today’s real estate market, you can expect to get offers pretty quickly. This is by far the most complicated part of the process. There are lots of federal, state, and local laws that govern the specifics of real estate transactions. If you aren’t aware of all of them and are working without a realtor you could open yourself up to a potential lawsuit in the future. 

Before you sign the paperwork, you absolutely must hire a real estate attorney. This will protect you from any potential mishaps in selling your FSBO home. Remember, nothing is done until you sit down at the closing date and sign the purchase agreement. Though you can find the real estate paperwork you’ll need online and get it ready to save you time and money with real estate attorneys, you’ll still want to have them look it all over. 

Here’s what you’ll need to negotiate with the buyer or the buyer’s agent:

– Price of the home
– Contingencies (ie repairs, inspection)
– Closing costs
– Closing date

You’ll want to not just read everything, but you’ll want to understand everything. Don’t sign if you don’t fully understand everything. You can do this either by reading up on it or by asking a real estate attorney. You can also explore agent assisted home sales, in which you bring in your own agent or a lower commission just to the closing. FSBO homes sold in this way will save money compared to those who pay traditional real estate comissions.

5 – The closing date

How fast you schedule the closing and what terms you agree to are up to you and the Detroit homebuyer. Closing could be within a week or could take more than a month to schedule, depending on what you and the buyer decide. 

A real estate closing is the date that the house actually changes hands. You’ll need clearance from your mortgage company if you have one, from their financial institution, and you’ll also need a licensed professional present at the closing. 

You can either use a Detroit real estate attorney or a title company in Western Michigan to handle the closing. Each one is going to cost about the same. Ask around to friends and family for recommendations about who’s great in your area.

Leading up to the closing, you’ll want to be in regular contact with the title company or real estate attorney. Make sure that there are no surprises waiting for anyone at the closing table. 

You aren’t selling your home alone

home closing without a real estate agent

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Even though you might be using the for sale by owner tactic to sell your Detroit area home, there are still experts out there who you will want to engage with. You’re also working with a buyer to sell your home – they’re obviously a crucial partner in this!

Keep in mind that if a buyer comes to you with their own real estate agent. FSBO home sellers generally end up paying a three percent commission to the buyer’s agent as part of the process. You can always choose to look for a different buyer who doesn’t have a buyer’s agent, but be prepared for that to take longer. 

Whatever you decide to do, you can be confident that you can sell your home yourself if you do your research. Though it can be a daunting task, it can also be highly rewarding!

Should You Sell to a We Buy Houses Company in Durham, NC?

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Choosing to sell your home, for any reason, is a big deal. Whether you’re facing financial difficulties, working through an inheritance, or trying to move because of a new job, you’ll want to educate yourself about the different ways to sell your home in Durham

Preconceived notions about the real estate market, including the sale timeline and the potential price, can hold homeowners back. It’s natural to just want to get on with all of it and trust the traditional ways of selling a home. However, there might be a better way for you to sell your home in North Carolina.

Home selling options in North Carolina

Most people who choose to sell their home go into the process thinking that there are only two options if they want to sell their home: FSBO or listing with a real estate agent. Actually, there’s a third option, and that’s selling to a cash buyer. 

With a for sale by owner transaction, you’re doing all of it on your own. You have to find potential buyers, prepare your home in the best possible way, and determine what the market rate is for your house. There are tons of resources online to teach you about all of these things, but it’s on you to figure it all out. That takes time and mental energy. For all of that, you’ll keep every penny that you make off of the sale of your North Carolina home.

Listing with a real estate agent is a turn-key option. The real estate agent will do all of the legwork that you need them to. They’ll set up open houses, find out what the going rate is, and negotiate with buyers. They’ll be able to tell you everything you need to know. In exchange, they’ll take a hefty commission. 

A cash buyer or a We Buy Houses company in the Triangle will offer you a lower price, but they’ll take your home as is. This process is turnkey in the same way that a real estate agent’s services are turkey. A cash buyer will do all of the legwork and present you with the options available. All you have to do is decide what you want to do and go with it. After going through all of the property information, you’ll get a fair offer for your home in Chapel Hill, Holly Springs, or anywhere in Wake County.

Pros and cons of a cash home sale

Cash home sale pros and cons

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Working with a cash buyer means that you’ll be able to sell your house faster and with fewer strings attached. You’ll be able to sell your house as is, without having to make repairs or do any home staging. With the cash buyer option, many of the particular processes associated with selling a home are out the window. 

For example, you likely won’t have to get a home appraisal if you’re selling to a We Buy Houses company. There’s even the possibility that you’ll be able to sell your home without an inspection. That’s especially likely in the current seller’s market. There’s no waiting around for a bank loan approval from the seller with a cash buy. All of this speeds up the process. 

Buy houses companies work with local homeowners who need to sell their house fast in Durham, and the houses can be left unchanged in many circumstances. Though there might be a required walk through for validation purposes, for the most part a house can be sold for an all cash offer in short order.

On the other hand, you might want to slow down the process. If you’re waiting to close on another home or if you have life circumstances that call for a different timeline, a cash buyer might not be for you. You’ll also likely get a lower price with a cash buyer than with the traditional real estate process. That difference can be eaten up in commissions and repairs, so do be careful when you consider what an honest price is for your home in Durham. 

Who pays cash for houses?

fair cash offer in Durham, NC

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There are two kinds of cash homebuyers:

– One-off / first time cash home buyers

– Experienced cash buyers

In today’s real estate market, it’s increasingly common for individual home buyers to be ready to pay cash for homes. The average home buyer is different today than it was a decade ago. Note that first time cash buyers are going to give you a bumpier road than experienced cash buyers. They know just as much about the process as you do if it’s the first rodeo for both of you. 

Working with a We Buy Houses company streamlines the process. These are experts in cash home sales because they’ve done it many times before. For North Carolina homeowners, a company that buys homes for cash is the easiest way to go. An investment firm will forego traditional bank financing to buy Durham houses, so you can get rid of your burdensome rental property or your vacant house without having to resort to contacting real estate agents.

People can pay cash for homes for lots of reasons. They might be investors who aren’t planning to live in the home. They could be house flippers who want to turn a profit. Cash buyers could also be individuals who do want to live in the house themselves. 

Accepting an all cash home offer

The simple closing process of an all cash home offer is one of the most appealing aspects of this option. If you’re agreeable to the price and the terms offered by a cash buyer, then the whole thing goes fast. 

In fact, if you want to sell your house fast, you might be surprised by just how quickly a quick home sale goes. For lots of cash buyer options, the closing date can happen on a hassle free Durham, NC house sale in one to two weeks. That kind of compressed timeline can be dizzying!  If you are a property owner and you want to sell your house fast, an all cash offer can get you out from under your house quickly.

The main thing that you’ll want to see is a proof of funds document for validation purposes. A cash buyer will be able to get this from their bank. It shows that they actually do have the money to buy your home in Durham. Without a proof of funds document, you’re not guaranteed that you’ll get to closing and get the cash for your home that you want.

Don’t forget, as a home seller in Durham, NC, you can change your mind all the way up until the final closing date. There are always points where you can turn back. Deciding to sell your Wake County home is a major step, so give yourself the kind of breath and thought that this decision warrants. Though your house can be left unchanged when you sell in Durham, North Carolina, it’s still a lot to move.

Selling a home is personal

local homeowners in Durham, NC

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Houses are more than just four walls and a roof. They’re places that families make memories. Kids have their first birthday parties and holiday meals are prepared here. Christmas presents are unwrapped and long summer nights are spent in the backyard.   A family deciding to sell their home means that they’re choosing to make memories somewhere else.

Whatever the reason you’re selling your home in Durham, it’s important that you think about all of your options and decide what’s best for you. Your situation could be affected by personal factors like divorce, an inherited home, or a burdensome house that’s holding up a move. Real estate investors are ready to buy houses in Durham and the surrounding areas without hefty closing costs. Real estate solutions for property owners who owe liens or need to sell in as is condition can avoid agent fees as well.

Helping homeowners matters

Durham, North Carolina and the surrounding areas have long been a hot real estate area. The selling process here tends to move fast. If you need to sell burdensome houses because of bad tenants or an unwanted property thanks to a family member who’s left it in a will, home buyers will snap it up for a fast sale.

Every reason that someone could have for selling a home in North Carolina is personal to them. No matter the unique circumstances surrounding an NC home, property simply is a hot commodity. Though profit is certainly part of the equation, many investors also do this as a way of helping homeowners who need to sell their Durham area home. The best cash buyers are doing this work to do some good as well as to make more money.

Don’t ever feel pressured to sell your home or to do something that you’re uncomfortable with. Whether you sell your home to a We Buy Houses company or through the traditional home selling process, think about what’s right for you.