On average, how much are sellers coming off their list price in Wake County?

Drum-roll please…8%. Now buyers, as much as you may enjoy this little nugget I just shared, I must warn this stat is pretty worthless when negotiating with owner-occupied sellers…and here is why…

As much as we want to use the average sales to list price to anticipate what a seller is willing to accept for their home in Raleigh, one must understand how this number is derived.  This number is computed by averaging out all of the properties that have sold within Wake County in the last year.  Meaning, the 8% discount includes foreclosures and other “fire sales” that drastically weigh down the overall figure.  Therefore, consult with your Realtor (better be me!) to determine what similar properties are selling for.  This is the most accurate way to determine what a home is worth.

Street name “Country Club” adds 9.3% to home value

Or, so says a recent study by two professors at UGA. The street or neighborhood name “Country Club” increases the value of a home by 9.3%. So, how much value do you add for Psycho Path or Divorce Court?

I am sure the figure- “9.3%” is debatable. However, I would agree that people pay a premium to live in certain neighborhoods or streets.  And what are 3 most important words in real estate? Location, location, location.

Read the full article about the value of a street name.

Hey Foreigners– Buy a House and get a Visa!

A bill is being introduced by 2 Senators today that would allow a foreigner to receive a Visa if they spend $500,000 or more on a home. Darn, are we going to take away the fun of bribing?

As part of an incentive to increase foreign spending in the U.S., Senators Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) are proposing a way to prop up the housing market.  From what I am reading, the idea is not a new concept. Foreigners are currently allowed to enter the U.S. if they invest in new businesses.  Sounds like a decent idea, but feel free to weigh in on your thoughts.

To learn more, here is a good article Foreigners’ Sweetener: Buy House, Get a Visa by Nick Timiraos of WSJ.

Would you refinance if you didn’t need an appraisal?

I heard an interesting idea by a congressman in California- allow people to refinance without requiring an appraisal.  I am curious to know if that would entice anyone to refinance?