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

Home-buyers should know this…

Congress wants their money back from their 2008 bailout…and a little premature if you ask me. But, Home-buyers, here me now…loan fees will go up. Congress is likely to approve a fee hike to recoup an estimated 38 Billion.

All signs point to Congress approving an increase for fees that Fannie  Mae and Freddie Mac charge to banks to guarantee loans.  These fees will ultimately be passed on to the home-buyer.  Being that the rates are historically low to begin with, I doubt that the hike will seek much opposition.

Yet, the big debate is that this increased revenue for the government will not go back to support the housing industry.  Instead, this money will be used to keep the payroll tax cut.  And after speaking Nick Timiraos with WSJ, I learned that Congress is structuring this deal in such a way that these fees will not be considered a reimbursement of the 150 billion dollar bailout.  So, let me get this straight…the Treasury is going to take 38 billion from Fannie and Freddie, but they are not going to write down their loan?  Answer: yep.

To read more about this new policy, check out Diana Olick’s article.

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!

Best home search website for the Raleigh/Cary area

Alright, I know that sounds a little cocky…but let me explain.  When I search from properties online, I hate all the banner advertisements that take forever to load.  This is how these websites make their money. 

I wanted to provide a home search website for people that was powerful, simple and advertisement free.  I am happy to say I did just that!  My home search does not have any advertisements that slow down the search and I will put it against any property search in Raleigh! 

My property search website searches every property available on the Triangle MLS and features:

  • Price, Sq. footage, Bedroom, & Bathroom Search
  • Map Search- search for any home, townhome, or condo via the Map
  • Single Family, Condo, Townhome Search
  • New Construction, Resale, and Foreclosure Search
  • School zone search, Subdivision search, zip code search, and Address Search
  • Save searches and automatically have emails sent when new listings come on the market

No login in necessary to search for homes in the Greater Raleigh and Cary area.  Give it a test drive.  Visit search the Triangle MLS.

Making an offer?

Are you the type of person who wants to know a little bit more about making an offer before you talk to your Realtor (hopefully me!)?  Ok, this “Question and Answer” is helpful.  Don’t go thinking you are a Realtor now! 

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