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How Rising Interest Rates Affect Purchasing Power

by Mayes Harris Team

You probably instinctively realize that rising interest rates will affect home buyers. The interest rate you pay can make a big difference in the size of the home loan you will qualify for as well as the price of the home you’ll be able to buy. Mortgage brokers use the monthly mortgage payment to determine how much you can afford to pay. Of course the larger the payment, the harder it is to qualify.

Interest Rate And Its Effect On Affordability

All mortgage payments include principal and interest as part of the total cost. Lenders use this payment to determine how much you can borrow for the home loan. Commonly, you can have 31-35% of your total monthly gross income as a loan payment. It follows that you want the principal portion of your home mortgage payment to be as high as it can be so you qualify for a more expensive home.

The below visual illustrates exactly how the interest rate affects your mortgage payment which directly affects your purchasing power.

Risks Of Waiting To Buy

We are still seeing all-time low rates but more increases are predicted. A home mortgage is the best hedge against inflation. By purchasing a home now, you lock in your monthly housing cost, which as we’ve already seen is the largest monthly expense for most families.

Interest rates are one of the biggest factors that affect your ability to finance a home purchase. Along with your credit score and employment history, the amount of interest you pay on the loan has a big impact on affordability.

Top 7 New Year's Resolutions for Sellers

by Mayes Harris Team

With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

  1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – Time to do your spring cleaning now. Declutter, depersonalize and make the home look roomier.
  2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.
  3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think carefully and don’t overspend by guessing.
  4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.
  5. Interview Real Estate Agents – Hiring a real estate agent is critical to your success. Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.
  6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.
  7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents, and odd terms. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market

10 Tips for Bathroom Space

by Mayes Harris Team

Small bathrooms don’t have to be dark and dank. Contrary to popular belief, making a small bathroom appear larger is not as hard as it seems. Here are 10 easy ways to quickly make a small bathroom look bigger.

1. Mirrors – Add larger mirrors to reflect light and provide the illusion of space.
2. Lighten Up – Lighting doesn’t have to be harsh, but adequate lighting is a must.
3. Remove Barriers – Open up the room with clear glass shower doors or shelves.
4. Monotone Decorating – Use the same light colors on walls, countertops, floors, and cabinetry to allow for the eyes to flow through the space.
5. Negative Space – Consider using a pedestal sink which takes less space than traditional cabinets.
6. Declutter – Find locations out of sight for toiletry items.
7. Heads Up – Use the vertical space in the room too, tall cabinets provide storage and add interest to the room.
8. Store Mats and Towels – Keep towels and floor mats out of sight unless in use. A simple hand towel in a complementary color tone is all most guests need.
9. Pocket Doors – Where you have room, use pocket doors or popular barn sliding doors to add extra space inside the bathroom.
10. Glass – Clear glass shower doors is a great way to remove a visual barrier and make the room seem larger.

Hope this has been helpful. 

Top 5 Rooms to Remodel in 2019

by Mayes Harris Team

With the popularity of the home remodeling shows, homeowners across the country are anxious to take out their toolbox and remodel their home too. Most often, remodels are better suited to professionals however, and this can cost significantly more. Regardless of the method, remodeling projects are not inexpensive, so making the best impact for the cost is important. Here are the top 5 rooms to remodel in 2019.

  1. Kitchen – Always a great return on investment. From functional spaces to bona find living areas, add extra seating, lighting and entertaining spaces such as a bar or counter.
  2. Backyard Kitchen/Family Room – The backyard is an extension of the interior. Section off areas for an outdoor kitchen and family room. Add a fireplace or even a TV.
  3. Master Bedroom – Always a place to retreat and refresh. Master bedrooms are getting makeovers with calm soothing paint colors, large picture windows and balconies or patios.
  4. Guest Bathroom – While not often the first thought, a powder room is easy to remodel and gives a great impression. Make the space look larger with a monotone color scheme.
  5. Bonus Room/Media Room – Create a unique family space with a media room or bonus room. Extra space which will bring more than its share of cost when selling.

Winterize Your Vacant Home

by Mayes Harris Team

The cold weather is here even in the South. Regardless of whether you’re packing up a vacation home for the season or simply traveling from your primary residence for a week or two, caring for a vacant home during the winter months is important. Protecting one of your best assets is critical in the colder weather.

  • Keep Your Home From Looking Vacant - Colder weather means fewer neighbors out and about. New technology, such as Alexa, can help you make the home seem occupied. Add a video doorbell and/or CCTV to allow you to “watch” your home from anywhere.
  • Protect Your Pipes – Bursting pipes can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Drain your pipes by opening faucets and flushing toilets, and then turn off the water before you leave.
  • Keep a Minimum Temperature – Even with drained pipes, the home temperature should not drop below 55 degrees. Appliances, hot water heater and other systems still risk damage in freezing temperatures.
  • Perform Preventative Maintenance Before You Leave – In addition to basic upkeep, make sure your systems are working properly. Heating and cooling systems, appliances, wiring and outlets can all create a fire hazard if not in good condition. Unplug all appliances and unnecessary lights before you leave.
  • Have an Emergency Plan – Make sure someone is available for help in an emergency

Fireplace Design Trends

by Mayes Harris Team

The long evenings of the winter months invite families to stay home and enjoy the warmth of their own home. Naturally, attention turns to the fireplace as both providing extra heat and as the focal point of the room. New technology and environmentally friendly design have brought contemporary updates that are sleek, fashionable and playful.

  • Finishing – Fireplace finishes have changed. New products such as the Cool Wall Series open a wide variety of design options by allowing a cool surface as a backdrop for finishes.
  • Wood – Wood burning fireplaces are back in style. Decorative spaces for wood storage are adding architectural interest.
  • Larger Openings – One of the leading trends in fireplace design is enlarging the viewing window of the fireplace. A simple retrofit of an existing fireplace can make a huge difference in the look of any room.
  • Corner Fireplaces – This popular feature of the 1990s is back with modern updates. Two or three-sided fireplaces with sleek styling and elegant accents, such as wood or metal, are providing a centerpiece for rooms.
  • Fireplace Walls – Linear fireplaces that stretch the length of the wall is one trend showing up in model homes across the country. Monotone colors and clean lines finish this modern trend.

As you can see, we have homes with BEAUTIFUL fireplaces. Contact the Mayes Harris Team, RE/MAX Metro to find your next dream home!!

Holiday Décor For Less

by Mayes Harris Team

The holiday season is here. Decorating magazines and storefronts are filled with beautiful wreaths, themed pillows and festive decorations, but this can be expensive. Decking the halls doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Add some freshness to your home this season with these inexpensive ideas.

  • DIY Ornament Wreath – Find some inexpensive ornaments and use your hot glue gun to attach to a wreath shape.
  • Fresh Greenery – Extra cuttings from the tree or even an evergreen in your yard adds charm to your front door, table or mantle.
  • Candles – Real or fake, candles create ambiance throughout the home. Use silver or white candlesticks and holders to contrast with fresh greens for a modern look.
  • Candy Canes – Fill jars or glassware with multi-colored candy canes and leave on coffee tables and dressers.
  • Wrap Your Gifts Early – Nestle wrapped presents under the tree or in piles in corners. Use festive, colorful paper to add to the charm of the room.
  • Holiday Pillows – Discount stores offer inexpensive holiday pillows to through on sofas, beds, and chairs.
  • Fairy Lights – Adding battery powered light strands to wreaths, tucked in greens and trimmings and clear bowls filled with ornaments can add a sparkle to the room.

These are just a few tips for decorating your home this year for less money and have fun doing it.

Market Report October Update: Mecklenburg County

by Mayes Harris Team

Time to do a quick review of the real estate market in Mecklenburg County for October of 2018. Hard to believe we are nearing the end of yet another year. It went fast, didn't it?!

Let's take a look at the summary of a year-over-year comparison for real estate activity in Mecklenburg County starting with October's new Listings. There were 1,958 new Listings in October 2018, which was an 8.1 percent increase from October 2017 where there were 1,811 new Listings.

The median sales price was $250,000 in October 2018, which was a 7.3 percent increase from October 2017, where it was $233,000.

The days on market until sale increased by 6.5 percent to 33 days in October 2018. In the year previous, October 2017, it was 31 days on market until sale.

Here's a nice visual graph which shows a good summarization of year over year changes for Mecklenburg County. New Listings up 8.1 percent, closed sales down 13.6 percent, median sales price up 7.3 percent and months supply of homes increased by 5 percent.

The median sales price chart below shows the direction of the market in an upward motion from 2013 onward. 

If you would like to discuss listing your home or anything about the local real estate market, don't hesitate to reach out. That's what we're here for. 

Why Should I Consider Staging My Home?

by Mayes Harris Team


It is a question that sellers often contemplate and that is, "Why I should I spend money to stage my home?" Ask most any real estate professional that question and they will usually give you several reasons why and here are my top 5 reasons.

1. Staging doesn't have to cost you a lot of money, but the return in investment is why people choose to move forward with the action of home staging. If you hire a certified stager your return can be an average of 10 percent better in the final sales price than a non-staged home. 10 percent can definitely add up!!

2. Buyers are able to visualize living in a home if it is staged because certified home stagers know just how to present the home at a non-emotional level which is hard for the homeowners to do. When buyers can visualize living in the home then the offer is more likely to be written.

3. Online marketing will stand out better. Online marketing has become very powerful in selling homes these days and good photography is essential. So a staged home assures that the photography will be top notch and the first impression will be a good one!

4. Staging will actually help buyers overlook nonessential flaws on the home that they might otherwise be drawn to in a non-staged environment. 

5. Homes that are staged sell FASTER! 

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. NAR RESEARCH REPORT

So sell faster. Sell for more money. Look nicer. That's about it! Contact me if you need help or real estate advice. 

Gina Mayes Harris
RE/MAX Metro

 

The 4 Factors That Determine The Length of Time A Home Is On The Market

by Mayes Harris Team

There are 4 factors which directly impact the length of time a home sits on the market and they are the following:

1. Condition

2. Price 

3. Terms

4. Realtor©

Location is not something you can control, but it will have an impact on your home's listing price. Let's discuss the 4 factors you can control.

Condition - The condition of the home/property. Has their been upgrades? Is the decor dated or is that up-to-date? What renovations have their been? When was it painted last? How's the landscape? So many things to factor in.

Pricing - If it is on the market over 30 days then in most areas that would indicate the price is too high for the current demand.

Terms - What terms can you offer that would make the listing more attractive and more competitive with the other active Listings in your area?

Realtor© - This is an area where you really need to do some research. Ask family and friends in the area who they used. Look at the real estate professional's marketing, availability, and their brokerage. Is it a well-known brokerage? Do they have an extensive sphere to reach out to with news about the home when put on the mls? What kind of visibility will your home get once listed? 

I'm sure you've heard the term that the market determines the price on a home, right? This is true. 

Homes typically sell for the most within the first 30-days. After 30-days a home which is still on the market needs to have a review as to why. Re-adjusting the listing price is probably going to be your best strategy to get things moving again. The price is the MOST important factor in selling your home.

I think that's it. I hope this helps you if you are considering selling your home or if your home is currently on the market and you are wondering why it is STILL on the market. 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 214

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