A good lawn makes for great curb appeal…

If someone wearing Carhartts, a clip on pocket knife and a NC State t-shirt talks about lawn care, I listen (only time)…and they are saying now is the time to put out fertilizer and crabgrass pre-emergent.  Kidding to all you Wolfpackers…you have dominated Carolina on the football field.  Back to the point, first impression for a home matters and a good lawn looks great in photos.  I recommend checking out this lawn calendar and setting up personal reminders.

Selling your home this Spring? January’s “to-do” list…

As we all tend to hibernate in January, the next several weekends are great for indoor home projects. Remove wallpaper, declutter, replace switch plates, hardware, etc is time well spent… see full list.

When I meet with homeowners in January to discuss selling their home in the Spring, I always tell them that they need to start preparing their home now.  With January typically being a cold and dreary month, it is a great time to focus on the inside of the home. If you live Inside the Beltline or in an older home in Raleigh, focus on repairing plaster walls, repairing water stains, and any other cosmetic repairs that have accumulated over the years.  Regardless of the age of your home, here are a few tips to get your home ready for sale in Raleigh.  But, don’t stop here…

  • Remove unnecessary furniture that make the room feel smaller
  • Remove personal photographs from tables and walls
  • Rearrange closets in an orderly manner
  • Patch holes in walls, clean walls and paint rooms that are not neutral colors
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Replace kitchen and cabinet hardware
  • Replace switch and outlet plates
  • Caulk molding
  • Replace light fixtures and ceiling fans

Homes that are properly prepared for the market tend to sell quicker and for more money.  Many items can be addressed on a small budget.  However, you may need to spend a little bit more to give the home the facelift that buyers expect in this market.

To get more ideas, this is a great article to read.  Go to How Can I Prepare my Home for Sale on a Budget?

Wilson Crow, Realtor has over ten years of real estate experience in Raleigh, NC. He specializes in helping home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs in the “Inside the Beltline” area and greater Raleigh area.  Feel free to call (919) 810-8665 to speak with him directly

How to de-80s your home…

So skinny jeans certainly came back, but make no mistake…popcorn ceilings, Hollywood dressing room lights, fake brass hardware are not coming back. Here are a few projects that make a difference.

Let’s just say, the 80s had its place in time.  But, maybe those days should remain in the photo album and not in your home decor.  Replacing cabinet and door hardware, swapping out light fixtures, repainting (and I’m talking about ceilings too…that water stain from the toilet leak 5 years ago is a red flag) are all weekend projects that make a huge difference when you sell your home in today’s market.

Thinking about selling your home in Raleigh, take a look at these tips for freshening up your home.  Please call me if you would like to discuss how to prepare your home to sell in Raleigh.

Your home has a “walk score”…curious what it is?

I gave it a test drive for my house and it seemed about right. The site is getting a lot of web traffic as many home-buyers are using it to find “walkable” neighborhoods. To find out a home’s (or your own) walk score, you can go to the walkscore website here.

For home buyers looking to buy a home in a “walkable” neighborhood in Raleigh, most of the older walkable neighborhoods will be found Inside the Beltline or near the North Hills Area.  In recent years, several new neighborhoods have been constructed to create a walkable feel as well.  Brier Creek, The Heritage in Wake Forest, Bedford at Falls River are some of the most notable.

When the National Association of Realtors did the buyer survey for 2010, one of the highest ranking influences in a buying decision was “convenience”.  While Raleigh is considered a mid-sized city, it continues to gain national attention because of the “big city” amenities.  With great schools, shopping and entertainment in Raleigh, many home-buyers focus their neighborhood search efforts on being located around these amenities.

If you have any interest in learning more about real estate in “walkable” communities, please contact Wilson Crow call me at (919) 810-8665

What is short about a “short sale”?

It is certainly not the time it takes to close…patience is a virtue. A “short sale” is where a home sells for less than the existing mortgage. Therefore, the proceeds fall “short” of paying off the mortgage. Commonly used as an alternative to foreclosure, sellers should consult a Realtor before proceeding down this road.

Sellers- Considering a short sale?

I have helped homeowners in Raleigh through the short sale process. The process can take several months and the earlier I can get involved helping the seller, the better. To begin with, banks will not approve a short sale just because you owe more on the home than a buyer will pay. The seller must apply for a short sale with their current mortgage holder and show financial hardship. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of the short sale process is putting together a complete short sale package for the mortgage holder. A Realtor who is familiar with short sales can be invaluable to a seller going down this road. If you are considering a short sale in Raleigh, contact me so we can explore your best game plan.

Buyers- Want to buy a short sale?

Your patience is about to be tested! A short sale can take up to 6 months and I have heard stories of even longer. Before you venture down this road, a prospective buyer must understand that the bank’s negotiator does not care about your time frames, demands, etc. On my last short sale, the bank did not acknowledge my client’s offer for 45 days. Meaning, the negotiator did not acknowledge, reject, counter or accept…no communication. Often times, a bank will not order an appraisal until they receive an offer and that process alone can take up to 2 weeks. Therefore, there is a lot of “hurry up and wait” times as a buyer of a short sale. Yet, when a short sale is approved to close, the buyer must be ready. If the buyer misses the closing date for any reason, the deal is dead!

Remodeling Cost vs. Resale Value

This article pertains to home remodeling in Raleigh, NC.  The 2010-2011 study released by HomeTech last month reported numerous renovation costs and its added resale value to the home.

What remodeling projects bring the highest return?

First impression matters!  Of the top 5 greatest return home upgrades, the top 3 winners this year can be categorized in the “curb appeal” department.  Coming in at number 1, the front door.  In the Raleigh housing market, spending a few extra bucks to get a high quality front door is well worth the added cost. 

One my favorite upgrades that appeared on the list is replacing siding with fiber-cement (often known as hardiplank).  Many homes that were built in Raleigh in the 80s and 90s were constructed with hardboard siding (often known as Masonite).  This material is known to rot if it is not caulked and painted every couple of years and it finds its way on every home inspection repair request. 

Here is the top 5 projects to your home that rake in the highest bucks are:

  1. Replace the old front door (cost recouped 102.1%)
  2. Replace the garage door (cost recouped 83.9%)
  3. Replace the siding (cost recouped 80%)
  4. Kitchen Remodel (cost recouped 72.8%
  5. Deck addition (cost recouped 72.8%)

Check out the latest study for the cost of a remodeling project as compared to the added resale value. Go to remodeling cost vs. resale.

Wilson Crow is a top selling Realtor for RE/MAX Capital Realty in Raleigh, NC. With over ten years of real estate experience, he has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers through the home buying or selling process. He specializes in the “Inside the Beltline” properties as well as the greater Raleigh Area. To view more information about Wilson Crow, visit www.wilsoncrow.com