Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama or McCain?

One way or another, Obama or McCain is going to the White House. And most likely, one or the other will have a more profound impact on the improvement of the national real estate market, to mention the local market. Bubble up, or trickle down approaches to economic recovery defines a portion of each of their economic policies.

I think Obama's "grass roots, ground up" approach will better stabilize the average "Joe" and provide quicker relief to the current crisis. A foreclosure moratorium and financial assistance to affected homeowners, I believe, will help the most. I think the Wall Street bailout is just lining the pockets of greedy executives who manipulated the financial vertical before, and will manipulate it again with the bailout money.

What do you think?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Triangle real estate trends show silver lining in Apex, Cary and Morrisville

North Carolina Triangle area September 2008 Real Estate Trends

Apex, Cary and Morrisville areas are fairing better than others according to the September 2008 Triangle MLS market update statistics. The Raleigh and Durham area markets are slightly down, 3.5-3.8% overall, according to , but Apex, Cary, Morrisville areas have a smaller current supply of inventory than the rest of the region. Now, a 3.5% - 3.8% decline is not all that bad, considering what is happening to markets nationwide.

According to, a site that claims to be an “independent real estate site that forecasts for over 250 cities in the 50 United States, the “North Carolina real estate market is only in the early stages of the National real estate recession.” They describe North Carolina as being “one of the country’s strongest housing markets with appreciation that didn’t get out of whack” They credit the large amount of retiree’s moving to the area as an influence on the state in general.

In the Raleigh/Durham area, credits a strong regional economy, lower cost of living, lower home prices, and high employment levels for keeping the market in check during 2008. They do predict softening prices in our area, an average of 3.5% to 3.8% as foreclosures and increasing inventory hit the market. describes their research as gathering information on “over 20 factors including economics, regional political influences, business development, construction, employment levels and other socioeconomic issues from independent sources.” They do update the information regularly, and as markets adjust.

When comparing their forecast to the Triangle MLS market update reports, there was some good news not noted by While inventory, showings, pending sales and closed sales numbers were slightly off from this time last year, the average sales prices of both new and resale homes were up 6% from this time last year. The average new home price is $269,000 and the average resale is $232,500. Apex, Cary, and Morrisville areas also had a notable difference from the rest of the region. While the region has a current 8 month supply of inventory (up from 5 months in 9/07), Apex, Cary and Morrisville have only 6 months supply. The national average is 11 months. Some price ranges in Apex, Cary and Morrisville ($0-$299,000) only have 2-4 month supply. This is good news for sellers in those areas, usually translating to fewer days on the market and/or offers reasonable to asking price.

If you have any questions about the market or selling or buying a home, please feel free to call Realty World on Salem @ 919-367-8884.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does Real Estate Print Media Advertising Work?

I don't know how many times I've heard top producers in the real estate business say that print advertising does not work. That they place it, in fact, to appease home sellers. What has been your experience? Is there someone out there who has found it to be a an effective medium?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Owners Who Keep Homes on Market Could Fare Better in Fall

RISMEDIA, Oct. 14, 2008-(MCT)-Home sellers usually share this belief about fall: As the leaves come down, so should their For Sale signs.
But some real estate agents say removing a home from the market could be a mistake.
“Buyers don’t have a month when they say they’re going to buy. They buy when they need to buy, and that need happens 12 months out of the year,” said Glen Silvenis of RE/MAX Crossroads in Belleville, Mich.
Agents say fall often brings out the more serious lookers who need to find a home right away. Additionally, there may be less competition because many sellers aren’t willing to stick it out through fall and winter.
And with slipping home values, sellers run the risk of fetching a lower price for their home if they take it off the market and relist in the spring.
Agents say sellers should use fall as a time to regroup.
For starters, they should look at the price of their home-and whether it is competitive.
“Take a good hard, honest look at what’s on the market right now. You want your house to be the best value,” said Patricia Phillips of Real Estate One in Southfield, Mich.
Dana Johnson, an economist from Comerica Bank, agrees, noting that the economy will continue to be soft nationwide.
“You have to price things realistically,” he said. “This continues to be a buyer’s market.”Sellers should also use the off season to their advantage. Putting up fall decorations-like a wreath on the door-and setting a few mums on the porch can bolster a home’s curb appeal, agents say.
Fall is also an ideal time to get rid of clutter and embark on home-improvement projects neglected during spring and summer. Agents suggest sellers tear down old wallpaper, update the carpet, paint and do a thorough cleaning. In pricier homes, sellers should consider higher-end upgrades like adding granite countertops, wood floors and ceramic tiles.
Hiring a stager-those who specialize in eliminating clutter, decorating and rearranging furniture-is also a good idea, said Karen Jolley of Buckley Jolley Real Estate in Brighton, Mich.
Julie Sirrine, 42, and her husband, Dan, 43, are making the best of the season. They would have preferred to list their 2,300-square-foot, four-bedroom house in Howell, Mich., during the spring, but the family is moving to Minnesota because of a job transfer.
“We had to put our house on the market now … with this situation we can’t wait,” Julie Sirrine said.
The couple bought the house for $252,000 five years ago. It’s now listed for $244,900.
The pair hired Kathi Presutti, owner of RE:STYLE in Brighton, to help with staging their home. In addition to removing clutter and reorganizing furniture, the company is helping the family add seasonal flowers, select new wall colors and improve lighting throughout the house.
“A stager is more important than in the past to rise to the top of the competition,” Jolley said. “You might as well keep the house looking new, even while living in it.”
© 2008, Detroit Free Press.Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Internet Home Searching: Good or Bad?

If you've ever purchased a home, I'm really curious as to what you think about this topic. National statistics say that 84% of home Buyers search on the internet before they start "physically" looking at homes. This way they can eliminate homes they don't want to see. However, there have been multiple times I (as a realtor) have driven by a home that Buyers have elimintated on the internet, only to have them want to see it. And in some cases, they actually bought the home (they didn't originally want to see!) and tell me at closing they are so grateful for buying the home of their dreams!

Do you think searching on the internet is the best way to find your dream home? Is there a way that internet search results could be optimized to reduce the possibility of "passing over" your dream house? What about "virtual tours"? Is there one type (i.e. static pictures) that is preferable to another (i.e. 360 degree rotation)?


New Visitor/Relocation Center

Realty World On Salem Street in downtown Apex is proud to announce the opening of their Relocation/Visitor Center. The front area of our storefront office has been re-designed into an area for people looking to find out more information about our wonderful town! Not only do we have publications and magazines in regard to real estate but we also have information on many local businesses, vendors, restaurants and services. We are open 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday and weekends from 1pm to 5pm. Please stop by and check us out!

Monday, October 13, 2008

90 Day Moratorium on Home Foreclosures

Regardless of your political affliation I think you may agree with me that the latest idea from one of our candidates is a good one. Barak Obama called for a 90 day moratorium on home foreclosures as well as a proposal to allow people to withdraw up to 10k from their retirement accountw without penalty for the remainder of this year and 2009. I think letting people dip into this money to help themselves out is a great idea! A lot of us are feeling the pinch of the money woos, so a little extra cash on hand would help relieve the stress. For those people who are in danger of loosing their homes this extra cash could possibly save them from loosing their homes.

Foreclosures are increasing at an alarming rate. The US Census Bureau reports that just under 2.2 million empty homes were for sale in the most recent quarter.

The vacancy rates for homes built in April 2000 or later was 9.8%, more than triple that of houses constructed earlier. Why you ask? Possibly because of the way the builders took advantage of the booming real estate market, they overbuilt leaving much vacant inventory on the market.

Those of us in the south had the highest vacancy rate at 3.2%.

Moral of the story....if you're in the position to purchase a home, NOW IS THE TIME TO GET THE DEALS!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Ok guys, there is no question that our economy is struggling. We have to find a way to make the most of these times. Every day we hear the media reporting of job layoffs and the declining stock market. But there really is an opportunity here to look at the glass as half full!

If there is a silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud looming over the real estate market, it is that now is one of the best times in years to buy a home in almost 30 years. Single family home prices are down. We are seeing longer days on the market last year average DOM for Wake County was 67, this year we are looking at a DOM of 85 and increase of 21%. Wake county closed resales are down 28% from last year. Seller's are a bit more anxious than they were in the past and buyers are benefiting by getting more money off the price of the homes and better incentives, particulary in the new housing subdivisions. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 3 million vacant homes — a record number — are for sale. This means big deals are lurking out there for prospective home buyers.

And of course what better place to secure your money right now....real esate of course!